SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A 69kV substation of PSE&G that went into service six months ago will be relied on during the next several months when summer weather arrives.
PSE&G prepared for the 2018 summer electric demand with $3 billion in infrastructure investments last year in order to maintain reliability, according to information provided by the utility company.
“Forecasts may call for temperature spikes and thunderstorms just around the corner, yet customers can rest assured that when they pump up their air conditioners, we’ll be ready,” John Latka, PSE&G senior vice president of electric and gas operations, said in a prepared statement. “Strengthening and expanding our systems while investing in our highly-skilled and dedicated workforce are some of the reasons PSE&G has remained one of the most reliable utilities in the country, and the most reliable in the Mid-Atlantic region 16 years running.”
The upgraded PSE&G Ridge Road Substation was placed in service in October and includes major infrastructure improvements, including the construction of new electric infrastructure, as well as the addition of a 69kV network, that will alleviate the energy demand on the existing 69kV networks, according to Lauren D. Ugorji, communications consultant for PSE&G Communications.
Additionally, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) technology was installed to remotely monitor and control the substation equipment. These upgrades will improve both electric service reliability and system redundancy to ensure safe and reliable electric service to customers, she said.
Ridge Road currently provides electric system supply to several substations that serve approximately 35,000 customers throughout Mercer County and Middlesex County, according to Ugorji.
“As populations have increased and consumer electronic needs have evolved, the 26kV and 69kV legacy networks have been taxed. The addition of a new 69kV network alleviates the demands on the existing 69kV network
s, therefore improving customers’ electric service reliability,” she said.
New 69kV circuits also connect the North Brunswick Switching Station and Bennetts Lane Substation, located in Somerset, according to PSE&G. The route runs along an existing pole line on Route 130 to Distribution Way through Georges Road and ties in at Deans Lane. The route includes underground segment along Deans Lane.
The existing utility poles were replaced with taller, sturdier poles that combine new 69kV circuits with existing 26kV, 13kV, or 4kV circuits.
The route is approximately 10 miles along the existing public right of ways in South Brunswick, North Brunswick and Franklin Township.
The 2018 forecasted summer peak is 9,903 megawatts, according to the statement. Last year’s peak was 9,527 megawatts, set on July 20, 2017. PSE&G’s all-time summer peak was 11,108 megawatts, set on Aug. 2, 2006.
PSE&G expects to have no problem delivering additional power, yet utility crews are ready to respond to service interruptions should they occur, according to the statement. The utility’s rigorous preparedness program for summer includes conducting annual hurricane and tropical storm drills; employee training; developing emergency summer operating plans and performing summer peak reliability analysis; helicopter and climbing inspections of transmission circuits; infrared inspections; system reinforcements; and transmission line work.
If there is an outage, tools are available at pseg.com in the Outage Center. Sign up for My Account and bookmark the mobile-friendly homepage on a smart phone so it is easy to report outages and check restoration progress. To report power outages via text message, and receive outage updates by text and email, sign up for MyAlerts. Updated every 15 minutes, PSE&G’s mobile-friendly Outage Map displays the location and status of power outages in PSE&G’s service territory. The utility’s Twitter and Facebook pages also keep the public informed about restoration progress.