Atlantic City Electric has proposed “Powering the Future,” a portfolio of projects to expand on the company’s support of New Jersey’s clean energy and climate goals while furthering its commitment to delivering safe and reliable service for its customers and communities.
In its proposal, filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the company outlined 80 interrelated projects that are essential to expanding the local energy grid’s ability to support the interconnection of more solar and other clean energy technologies, improve system reliability, and leverage more modern technologies to help make the grid stronger and more resilient against increasingly impactful storms.
“We are leading the energy transformation across South Jersey, and these 80 projects are central to that effort,” said Tamla Olivier, senior vice president and COO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “Powering the Future will broaden the ability for customers to interconnect their solar with the local energy grid while fortifying the grid and addressing specific pockets in our communities where the reliability of service is not meeting our expectations. This work is essential, and we will execute it while keeping bills as low as possible and helping every customer meet their energy needs.”
Powering the Future will accelerate these individual projects to modernize South Jersey’s energy grid, further enhancing energy service for hundreds of thousands of local customers, while supporting the growth of distributed energy resources like solar and battery storage technology.
This program will also help create new opportunities for residential solar interconnection in most areas by giving Atlantic City Electric the ability to safely and reliably accommodate approximately 50,000 additional residential solar arrays, more than doubling the number of local solar installations across the company’s service area.
Powering the Future includes five specific categories of projects. These include:
Solar/Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Enablement – Further expand the ability of the local energy grid to incorporate the increasing interconnection of clean energy technologies, including local solar and other distributed energy resources that will help achieve the State’s clean energy and climate goals.
Targeted Reliability Improvements – Targeted work on the local energy grid focused on enhancing reliability where power outages are occurring more frequently or where system redundancy can help reduce the impacts of outages when they do occur.
Smart Technology Upgrades – Further enhance the communications network and supporting devices that are used to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
Infrastructure Renewal – Critical upgrades to maintain reliability for customers by replacing existing equipment with smarter, stronger equipment capable of withstanding the impacts of more severe weather.
Substation Improvements – Build new and upgrade various substations throughout the company’s service area to enhance customer reliability by modernizing infrastructure and other critical equipment, helping fortify these substations against more frequent and extreme weather events.
“We appreciate Atlantic City Electric’s efforts to create career opportunities for local residents and to support sustained economic growth through workforce development initiatives, reliability improvement projects and community investment,” said Jerry Keenan, president of the NJ Alliance for Action. “Powering the Future is another step toward advancing South Jersey’s energy infrastructure while also aligning with our efforts to improve the state’s economy, environment and quality of life.”
Powering the Future will support economic development and job creation in the local clean energy economy and is expected to sustain more than 600 full-time jobs within Atlantic City Electric’s workforce, as well as its contractors and suppliers. In addition, it is expected to create opportunities for graduates of the company’s South Jersey Utility Training Program and the Atlantic City Infrastructure Program. Atlantic City Electric supports the State’s focus on social equity and the Energy Master Plan’s goals of ensuring the benefits and opportunities of the State’s clean energy economy reach all communities it serves, including under resourced communities.
Based on the company’s proposal to the BPU, Atlantic City Electric would begin executing Power the Future in mid-2023. To recover costs for Powering the Future, gradual rate changes would occur over four years between 2023 and 2027, pending approval from the BPU. Based on the company’s request, the total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 680 kilowatt hours would increase by $5.01 or 3.55 percent over the four-year period.
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