Monday, July 16, 2018

Stung by snow critiques, JCP&L plans big grid upgrade

Utility, criticized by the governor for poor performance during winter storms, says it needs a rate increase to carry out thousands of improvements. Advocates fear consumers will pay more

JCP&L crew doing snow repairs
JCP&L crew working to restore power after a winter snow storm

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

Jersey Central Power & Light is asking state regulators to approve a four-year, $400 million spending plan to upgrade its electric grid to buttress its reliability.
The request, filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities last Friday, focuses on curbing the types of widespread outages that have plagued electric companies in New Jersey during extreme storm events in recent years.
JCP&L, the state’s second-largest utility, is the latest utility to seek approval for a rate increase to fund huge investments in modernizing an aging grid, a priority of New Jersey and policymakers across the nation.
In June, Public Service Electric & Gas filed a $2.5 billion, five-year investment program with the BPU to upgrade its electric and gas distribution systems. Atlantic City Electric, too, is seeking to spend $340 million over four years to modernize its power grid. At the same time, both PSE&G and ACE each has other separate rate cases pending before the agency.
These various rate cases are a concern to consumer advocates who fear that customers face spikes in their bills, particularly given recent laws signed by the governor that will ramp up the state’s reliance on clean energy as well as possibly asking ratepayers to subsidize nuclear power.

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