Selected category: New Jersey

New Jersey’s considering a nuclear bailout. Here’s why we don’t need it.

The New Jersey State legislature is entertaining a lame duck proposal by the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), the parent company of New Jersey's largest utility, Public Service Gas & Electric (PSE&G) to subsidize two PSEG nuclear plants and to have it paid for by New Jersey electricity customers – in other words, a customer-funded bailout.

We don’t need a nuclear bailout, especially since the utility acknowledges that its plants are profitable. To approve subsidies for PSEG’s power plants during this time would be misguided because the company hasn’t provided any proof that their facilities are in need of financial assistance to serve customers or what, if anything, customers would get out of the deal.

Where’s the proof?

There is no proof that PSEG needs subsidies. PSEG has refused to release any information or analysis that supports the idea that their nuclear plants are struggling financially. Has PSEG opened its books so independent market analysis can be conducted, or considered how its request will affect people’s electricity bills? Has the legislature considered how this will impact clean energy investments, or jobs and economic development? The answer is no. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Utility Business Models| Leave a comment

New Jersey’s new governor campaigned on a robust clean energy plan. Let’s get started.

The election of Phil Murphy as New Jersey’s next governor represents an opportunity for the state to adopt technologies that will make our electric grid more efficient and permit the integration of large amounts of renewable energy, as well as provide customers with the ability to better manage their energy use and save money.

The Governor-elect’s agenda includes a robust clean energy plan, including goals to power 1.5 million homes with offshore wind by 2030; add 600 MW of energy storage by 2021, and 2000 MW by 2030; and to increase energy-efficiency investment.

Governor-elect Murphy is well-positioned to achieve his goals, as New Jersey is abuzz with clean energy activity from both the public and private sectors. Here’s a sampling. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Grid Modernization| Comments are closed

Managing Methane: New Jersey’s Largest Utility Using Better Data for Better Decisions

pgemapping

Data helps prioritize gas line replacement

By Simi Rose George and Virginia Palacios 

A new method of prioritizing gas infrastructure improvements is resulting in faster reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey. Just over a year ago, we wrote about an order from the state’s Board of Public Utilities approving a settlement agreement for a $905 million, three-year pipe replacement program by PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest gas utility. This order, and the underlying settlement agreement were pioneering in one major aspect – PSE&G agreed to use environmental data to inform its infrastructure improvement efforts.

The order provided that the company would use data on leak flow rate (the speed at which methane is leaking from gas pipes) to help prioritize its local distribution pipe (“gas line”) replacement program. PSE&G is the first utility in the country to do so. The idea was that this data would be gathered by EDF as part of a collaborative project with Google Earth Outreach and Colorado State University through a survey of sections of PSE&G’s service territory targeted for gas line replacement. Read More »

Also posted in Climate, Data Access, Energy Efficiency, Methane, Natural Gas| Tagged | Comments are closed

New Jersey Accelerates Energy Efficiency Adoption with this New Pilot Project

Newark,_New_Jersey_at_nightThe large-scale adoption of energy efficiency in buildings is a key to achieving a cleaner environment, lower utility bills, and more comfort for customers. But increasing private capital investment in the energy efficiency market has been a big challenge.

Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) addresses one specific barrier to more energy efficiency investment: the lack of trust investors and building owners have in projected energy and cost savings. ICP offers protocols that define industry best practices for energy efficiency project development and a credentialing system that provides third-party validation.

By standardizing the process by which energy efficiency projects are developed and measured – and creating a new Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ asset class as an end result – investors can more easily finance energy efficiency projects and have more confidence in the energy and financial savings expected from these projects.

While many states have made great strides promoting the policies and incentives to spur private investment in energy efficiency projects, my home state of New Jersey is getting serious about it.

Read More »

Also posted in Energy Efficiency, Investor Confidence Project| Comments are closed

Clean Energy Partnerships Grow between the U.S. Military and Rural Cooperatives

What do rural electric cooperatives have in common with United States military bases? They all want clean, reliable, affordable energy.

Rural electric cooperatives are not-for-profit electric utilities that provide reliable, at-cost electricity to their members. They’re ingrained in the American landscape: more than 900 rural cooperatives serve more than 42 million customers in 47 states, accounting for 12 percent of all U.S. electricity sales. Because of their market share and core mission to provide affordable, “at-cost” electricity, co-ops represent a huge (and largely untapped) clean energy opportunity. One way they’re starting to tap this potential is through partnerships with local military bases.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which operates more than 300 domestic bases, is federally mandated to lower its energy consumption – and for good reason. The DoD is our nation’s largest single energy user, and as a result, has committed to expanding its clean energy portfolio to cut energy use. Each military service has ambitious goals to deploy one gigawatt of on-site renewables in the near future, and many are jump-starting these efforts on bases across the United States. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Military, Renewable Energy| Comments are closed

New Jersey Should Leverage Private Capital to Achieve Resilient Energy Goals

seal-40853_640Since Hurricane Sandy exposed the vulnerability of New Jersey’s antiquated power grid, the state has been investing heavily in enhancing the grid’s resilience and promoting clean energy technologies to upgrade to a smarter, more flexible system that can keep people safe and warm when they need it most.

However, as I explain in my NJ Spotlight op-ed published today, limited public funds alone will not be enough to build the state’s clean energy future.

Private capital investment is key to establishing the large-scale, clean energy markets needed to ultimately save customers money, increase grid resiliency, and slash harmful pollution.

New Jersey has already made a step in the right direction with the launch of the Energy Resilience Bank, which was set up with $210 million of federal funds to finance resilient energy systems operating the state’s critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing| Comments are closed
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