PSE&G today filed for a three-year, $2.54 billion extension of its Gas System Modernization Program (GSMP) with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). The proposal would continue the utility’s work to update its existing infrastructure to improve reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by replacing aged pipes with modern ones, and sustaining the thousands of jobs and skilled workforce created under GSMP II with the prospect of creating more jobs.
In keeping with its continued efforts to improve reliability and reduce methane emissions, the program’s replacement of old gas mains is estimated to reduce CO2e emissions by more than 145,000 metric tons. The proposal also would introduce non-fossil alternatives, renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen, into PSE&G’s system.
A fast and effective way to curb emissions associated with aging natural gas infrastructure is to accelerate the work started in the first two phases of GSMP, notably:
Continuing GSMP is essential to achieving PSE&G’s aim of reducing methane emissions by 58% from 2011 levels by 2030, and reflects U.S. EPA best management practices for reducing methane emissions from distribution mains and service lines.
Through the first two phases of its GSMP program, PSE&G already has reduced methane emissions by nearly a quarter of a million metric tons CO2e from its system compared to 2011 levels. PSE&G has about 3,000 miles of the oldest cast iron mains, with an average age of 91 years, in the country – more than any other American gas utility. GSMP III, which is planned to run from 2024 into 2027, expects to modernize about 860 miles of these cast iron pipes and about 200 miles of unprotected steel pipes.
“Investing in our infrastructure to enhance reliability, maintain our safety focus and achieve low carbon goals is a smart strategy and serves both the state’s and our customers’ interests,” said Kim Hanemann, president and chief operating officer, PSE&G. “PSE&G supports a balanced approach to decarbonization while meeting today’s energy demand – an approach that recognizes natural gas as a fuel to maintain affordability and reliability, as we continue to assess options including lower-carbon fuels and electrification. To date, this work has avoided methane emissions that equate to removing 54,000 cars from the road. Continuing GSMP, now with new RNG and hydrogen programs, helps keep us Powering Progress.”
A proposed RNG facility would inject processed landfill gas into PSE&G’s gas distribution system. Compared to the natural gas supply chain, RNG is a less carbon-intense fuel. Our project is estimated to reduce GHG by approximately 27,000 to 36,000 metric tons of CO2e per year. The project would significantly improve regional air quality by reducing air pollutants annually, including tons of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. The inclusion of RNG is an important lower-carbon step in the transition to cleaner fuels.
“This innovative project builds on the Middlesex County Utilities Authority’s continued success in reclaiming landfill gas, and could become a model for others working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Wiley, Esq., Middlesex County Utilities Authority chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “We are proud to enter into this phase of the project with PSE&G; partnerships like this one are consistent with the State of New Jersey‘s commitment to combat climate change.”
PSE&G’s plan also includes a 1 MW-rated electrolyzer to supply 2% hydrogen to a part of the gas distribution system for the majority of the year. The electrolyzer would produce approximately 40 lbs/hr of hydrogen. The project would call for a flexible design in anticipation of increased blending in the future. It would reduce an estimated 1,000 metric tons of CO2e annually.
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