Saturday, July 29, 2017

PSE&G wants to spend big to replace old gas infrastructure

Five-year program would cost $540M annually, install 1,250 miles of new gas mains all told

pseg workers gas mains
Credit: PSE&G
Tom Johnson reports
for NJ Spotlight:

Public Service Electric & Gas is seeking approval to expand its gas modernization program, asking the state to allow it to spend up to $2.7 billion over five years, or about $540 million annually.
In a filing with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the state’s largest utility is hoping to accelerate the replacement of aging, cast-iron and unprotected steel pipes by installing 1,250 miles of new gas mains.
The proposal is part of an industry-wide effort to modernize gas pipelines, in some cases digging up mains installed more than a half-century ago. The investments come at a time when the cost does not sock ratepayers as much in their wallets because of historically low gas prices.
“We can get this done without a big pinch in customers’ pockets,’’ said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G.
State regulators also have backed the projects in the past, approving a series of investments by the gas utilities in recent years, including a $900 million, three-year program by PSE&G.
“A lot of utilities are doing this. It’s consistent with what is happening across the nation,’’ said Paul Patterson, an energy analyst with Glenrock Associates.
This past spring, PSE&G indicated it would seek approval for an expanded gas modernization program at an investors conference, saying it hoped to expedite the replacement of the aging pipelines.

Read the full story here

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