A Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE:PEG) company kicked off construction June 14 on Sewaren Unit 7, a new 540-MW combined-cycle natural gas plant in Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Elected officials were on hand to dedicate the start of work on both the new natural gas power facility and a refurbished Public Service Electric & Gas switching station at a site that flooded during “Super Storm” Sandy in 2012.
The new Sewaren 7 will replace the existing plant with more efficient, cleaner technology. Sewaren 7 represents an investment of more than $600m and is targeted to be operational in time for summer of 2018. The project is expected to generate about 350 jobs during the two-year construction phase.
PSEG Chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo was joined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac (D) at a groundbreaking ceremony.
They also helped commemorate the new, elevated Sewaren Switching Station, the first elevated station placed into service as part of PSE&G’s Energy Strong program to protect and strengthen its electric and gas system against severe weather events. Together, these investments promote New Jersey’s economic growth while supporting the policies and goals of the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, PSEG said in a news release.
“PSEG is building a new more efficient natural gas plant to serve the state and the utility part of its business has raised and rebuilt an electric switching station designed to provide resiliency against future storms as it delivers reliable power to the people in this area,” Christie said.
PSE&G has spent $125m over the last three years hardening and upgrading its Sewaren Switching Station which was devastated by Sandy.
These improvements, part of PSE&G’s Energy Strong program, included raising electric distribution equipment above new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood guidelines, as well as, installing new, elevated transmission facilities needed to maintain electric system reliability. At the height of construction, the project employed 150 laborers, electricians, operating engineers and tradesmen.