PSEG progresses on returning damaged facilities to service post-Sandy

Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG, NYSE:PEG) reported it has returned to service the transmission facilities taken out of service by the super-storm, and that it has restarted about 25% of its New Jersey power plants that were knocked offline.

Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to generation facilities and high-voltage electric transmission systems operated by PSEG operating companies, and affected more than 1.7 million customers of PSEG’s Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), according to company documents.

Tidal surge accompanying the hurricane damaged some 13 switching stations and took out of service 49 high-voltage transmission lines operated by PSE&G.

The storm also affected nearly 3,800 MW of generation in northern New Jersey including the Kearny, Linden, and Sewaren power plants and other generation operated by PSEG Power, PSEG’s chairman and CEO announced during the company’s 3Q12 conference call Nov. 1, shortly after the storm hit.

Affected substations and switching stations were restored more quickly than the damaged generation. In a statement, PSE&G said power had been restored to virtually all customers affected by Hurricane Sandy by Monday, Nov. 12.

However, a PSEG spokesperson acknowledged more work remains to be done.

”We’ve made the repairs we needed to bring everybody back to service, but a lot of those repairs were temporary, so we’re having to make those fixes permanent, so that’s an ongoing effort right now,” the PSEG spokesperson told TransmissionHub Nov. 20.

As of Nov. 20, PSEG Power has restored more than 900 MW to the grid for dispatch; 1,535 MW are in recovery from the storm and simultaneously undergoing planned maintenance outages and an additional 1,371 MW are undergoing assessment and recovery, a PSEG Power spokesperson told TransmissionHub in an e-mail.

“There has been no impact to grid reliability,” the PSEG Power spokesperson said. “It is our intention to bring all of our units back to service.”

Citing competitive reasons, the company would not confirm the names of the plants affected, nor would it comment on generation trading practices, though it did note that regional grid operator PJM Interconnection (PJM) ensures that sufficient power is available to serve customers and support electric grid reliability should the need arise.

PSEG Power owns more than 13,200 MW of generating capacity.