Monday, June 25, 2018

New Jersey BPU short-circuits proposed power line

State agency agrees with activists, administrative law court, and rate counsel — sees no need for proposed $111 million power conduit that would run close to schools and homes

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

In an unusual defeat for an energy projemonopoly transmissionct, the state Board of Public Utilities blocked a $111 million, 10-mile high-voltage power line proposed by Jersey Central Power & Light through Monmouth County.
In largely adopting a decision by an administrative law court judge, the five commissioners sided with a broad coalition of officials and residents who had argued the company had failed to prove the new line is needed and ignored other construction options.
The decision appears to end a case that stirred a huge fight for the past two years in the communities along the route, which largely would have followed a North Jersey Coast rail line. The project called for 210-foot monopoles to be built along the route close to homes, schools, and parks.

RAGE wins the day

“I’m very relieved. I feel very vindicated,’’ said Rachel Kanapka, co-president of Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE), a group that battled the project. “This project never should have seen the light of day.’’
In ruling against the power line between Aberdeen and Red Bank, the board cited flawed, seven-year-old data about energy need that the project was largely based on.
“What was troubling to me, I have always questioned what the real need for it,’’ said BPU Commissioner Mary Holden. “There’s nothing in the record to support it.’’

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