Hoboken

Madison Substation Upgrade Project

Project Overview

The PSE&G Madison Street Substation Project is a multi-million dollar capital improvement that will upgrade the electric distribution system to make it more reliable and resilient in the wake of severe weather. This work includes constructing a new, elevated substation featuring state-of-the-art, 69,000-volt (69kV) gas insulated switchgear to serve and benefit Hoboken businesses and residents.

Working closely with the City of Hoboken, PSE&G enlisted the services of a Hoboken-based architectural firm to design the Madison Street facility to assimilate within the urban fabric of the city.

In addition, PSE&G will raise critical electric transmission facilities and distribution equipment above new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood guidelines, replace aging infrastructure, and install new technology that can monitor the station remotely and restore power more quickly if an outage occurs. These improvements will enhance the safety and reliability of our power delivery system and achieve resiliency during severe weather.

New 69kV circuits will connect the new Madison Street station to existing stations in Jersey City, Kearny and North Bergen and strengthen the local grid/circuits that support electric reliability in Hoboken. These lines will utilize an existing right-of-way. The old poles will be removed after the new poles are installed and the overhead infrastructure is transferred from the old poles to the new poles. Segments of the circuit will be underground.

More specifically:

  •  The circuit route from Jersey City will travel west on First St. between Paterson Ave. & Jackson St. / north on Jackson St. to Seventh St. / one block east on Seventh St. / and north on Monroe St. to the Madison Substation.
     
  • The line coming from Kearny will enter Hoboken at Newark St. & Madison St., before traveling north on Madison St. directly to the new substation.
     
  • The North Bergen line will enter Hoboken on Fifteenth St. heading east for a block and  a half, before turning south on Jefferson St. From there, the route continues two blocks down Jefferson St. until Thirteenth St., where it heads west for a block to Madison St.…and on to the Substation.

The substation upgrade portion of this project received approval by the Hoboken City Council and Planning Board on August 9, 2017. Construction of the new substation began in May 2018. Beginning in July 2018, and continuing through October, new underground cables will be installed along the following streets:

  • Monroe St. between Second St. & Twelfth St.
  • Jefferson St. between Fourth St. & Twelfth St.
  • Bloomfield St. between Second St. & Fourth St.
  • Fifth St. between Jefferson St. & Grand St.

Safety is our primary goal. PSE&G is partnering with the Hoboken Police Department to minimize traffic concerns or inconveniences to the public during construction.

 

For more information on this project, please contact:

Project Hotline
1-800-901-5035
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For media inquiries regarding this project, please contact:

PSE&G's Media Hotline
973-430-7734
    1. What are 69kV electric lines?
    2. What will these projects do?
    3. Why are these upgrades needed?
    4. Is this project approved?
    5. What substations provide power to Westfield residents and businesses?
    6. What is the difference between the existing and new line voltage?
    7. What is the route for this project in Westfield, and how was it chosen?
    8. Why can’t you build this line along the railroad tracks?
    9. How long will the project take to complete? When will it start?
    10. How many residents and businesses are along this route?
    11. How many poles will be installed? How tall are they, and how far apart?
    12. Are the poles on the north or south side of South Avenue?
    13. Why are the replacement poles taller?
    14. Why do the replacement poles appear twice as high as the old poles?
    15. When will the old poles be removed?
    16. Why aren’t you building this project underground?
    17. How will you minimize disruption to businesses along South Avenue during construction? Will traffic be disrupted?
    18. Why is PSE&G trimming and removing trees near the new poles? How many trees will be affected, and where?
    19. Why is this project proceeding when the proposed substation in Cranford has not been built yet?
    20. Are there any health hazards associated with 69 kV lines?
    21. Can you explain the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)? Is there a difference between EMFs on 26 kV and 69 kV lines?
    22. Are 69 kV lines a concern for firefighters who respond to downed electric wires or transformer fires?
    23. Who can I contact for more information?

    What are 69kV electric lines?

    69kV electric lines are the standard of the 21st century.  They will ultimately replace and enhance a 50+ year-old system built on 26kV lines, increasing reliability, capacity and safety.

    What will these projects do?

    PSE&G is currently improving its electric reliability statewide by upgrading its utility infrastructure. These infrastructure upgrades include the addition of a 69kV network that will alleviate the demand on the existing 26kV network. These upgrades will increase electric service reliability and system redundancy to ensure safe and reliable electric service to our customers.

    Since 2007, PSE&G has installed more than 400 miles of 69,000-volt (69kV) lines in more than 93 municipalities in New Jersey. By the end of 2023, we anticipate that 570 miles will have been upgraded.

    Why are these upgrades needed?

    These upgrades are needed to address the demand for electric reliability throughout PSE&G’s service territory. As populations have increased and consumer electronic needs have evolved, the 26kV legacy networks of the last century have been taxed. The addition of a 69kV network will alleviate the demands on the existing 26kV network.

    Is this project approved?

    PSE&G is charged with providing safe, adequate and proper electric service to its customers, as well as upgrading the system as needed for reliable service. In the course of fulfilling those obligations, PSE&G regularly conducts system upgrades and improvements. 

    This project was approved and assigned to PSE&G by PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM) as a baseline reliability project in October 2017. PJM is the regional grid operator for 13 states in our region.  This baseline project is required to maintain system reliability. 

    PSE&G, as a New Jersey public utility required to provide safe, adequate and reliable service throughout its service territory, has the legal authority right to occupy the public right-of-way with electric and gas facilities without obtaining state or local approvals.  The authority for the construction and maintenance of utility poles along public streets in New Jersey is governed by statutory authority in Title 48, and is not subject to the jurisdiction of local boards.

    What substations provide power to Westfield residents and businesses?

    Westfield is served by 10 substations throughout Union and Middlesex Counties. This project will enhance the reliability at several of these substations that provide power to Westfield. 

    What is the difference between the existing and new line voltage?

    Existing pole lines throughout Westfield carry 4kV, 13kV or 26kV lines. The replacement pole line will carry the existing lines plus a new 69kV line for added reliability and capacity, as well as lightning protection.

    What is the route for this project in Westfield, and how was it chosen?

    The project will follow an existing pole line on South Avenue in Westfield. PSE&G considers many factors in its pole line selection process, including presence of existing utilities; feasibility of engineering and construction; use of public and private property; environmental impacts; cost; construction schedule; feasibility of long-term maintenance; and accessibility.

    Why can’t you build this line along the railroad tracks?

    This route was studied and determined to not be feasible. PSE&G needs access to its electric lines 24/7 to respond to equipment failures and power outages. Building along the railroad, instead of the utility right-of-way, would create accessibility issues that would interfere with PSE&G’s ability to maintain reliable electric service to our customers.

    How long will the project take to complete? When will it start?

    This project will take six to eight months to complete. Our initial start date was expected to be March 2019. The new start date is yet to be determined.

    How many residents and businesses are along this route?

    There are about 50 residential properties, as well as about 125 businesses.

    How many poles will be installed? How tall are they, and how far apart?

    The project will replace 82 poles on an existing pole line. In general, the length of the existing poles is between 45 and 50 feet (38 and 43 feet above ground). The replacement poles will range between 65 and 70 feet in length (56 and 61 feet above ground). The new poles will have the same spacing as the existing poles.

    Are the poles on the north or south side of South Avenue?

    From the Scotch Plains border to Central Avenue, the pole line will be on the southern side of South Avenue. From Central Avenue to the Garwood border, the pole line will be on the northern side of South Avenue.

    Why are the replacement poles taller?

    The height of a utility pole is determined by several factors.

    • The number of wires carried by the pole – the more wire, the taller the pole.
    • The voltage of the wires -- different voltages require different spacing between the wires.
    • The addition of static wire, also known as lightning protection. This project involves installing both a 69kV line and lightning protection on the new poles.

    Why do the replacement poles appear twice as high as the old poles?

    Once a replacement pole is installed and the electric wires are transferred, the old pole is shortened to the height of the lower telephone and/or cable television lines that share the pole. As a result, the public sees the new pole next to an old pole that is much shorter than it had been, at a new height of just 20 to 25 feet above the ground.

    When will the old poles be removed?

    The old poles will be removed by the phone and cable companies once they transfer their wires onto the new pole lines.

    Why aren’t you building this project underground?

    Building utility lines underground is six to seven times more expensive than typical utility pole construction. PSE&G is an overhead utility, meaning that power lines are built overhead where feasible. Of the more than 400 miles of 69kV lines PSE&G has built since 2007, the vast majority are overhead. Lines are built underground only when engineering determines it’s necessary, such as for railroad or river crossings. If our engineering indicates that overhead construction is feasible, but a municipality requests that a line is put underground, the municipality is required to pay for the incremental costs.

    How will you minimize disruption to businesses along South Avenue during construction? Will traffic be disrupted?

    PSE&G will work with municipal officials to minimize any disruptions and coordinate traffic flow during construction. We will also communicate any disruptions directly with impacted customers.

    Why is PSE&G trimming and removing trees near the new poles? How many trees will be affected, and where?

    The NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and prudent utility practice mandate that PSE&G remove tree branches and limbs to ensure that they do not become entangled with, or damage, the electric lines. This regular vegetation management minimizes power outages. An estimated 24 trees along this route will be trimmed, and another 24 will be removed. All trees that are removed will be replaced with new utility-friendly trees. Most of the affected trees are on municipal property, with an estimated 19 on private property that encroach on the public right of way.

    Why is this project proceeding when the proposed substation in Cranford has not been built yet?

    The proposed station in Cranford is not a part of this project. The line now being built is required by PJM, the regional grid operator, and was approved in October 2017. The line will connect PSE&G’s Front Street substation in Scotch Plains with its Springfield Road substation in Union. The station planned in Cranford was not a part of this project, and was reviewed by PJM in January 2019.

    Are there any health hazards associated with 69 kV lines?

    There is no documented evidence that utility lines pose a health risk. Electric lines of various voltages can be found on almost every roadway in New Jersey, as well as throughout North America.

    Can you explain the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)? Is there a difference between EMFs on 26 kV and 69 kV lines?

    The existing 4 kV and 13 kV lines along South Avenue carry currents that are comparable to the 26 kV and 69 kV lines, and produce similar magnetic fields. All of the lines produce magnetic field levels at the surrounding properties that range from 2 to 4 milligauss, which are comparable to existing background levels created by building wiring, lighting and appliances. Electric and magnetic fields are created by any device that produces, carries or uses electrical energy. The magnetic field produced by a three-phase power line depends on the current in the conductors, the spacing between the conductors and the distance from the power line. Voltage of the line has no effect on the magnetic field.

    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has estimated the average level of background magnetic fields range from 0.5 to 5.0 milligauss (mG) in most homes. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) also lists typical magnetic field levels measured six inches away from common appliances.

    The NJDEP list includes:

    • Hair dryer - 300 milligauss
    • Electric shaver - 100 milligauss
    • Blender - 70 milligauss
    • Can opener - 600 milligauss
    • Coffee maker - 7 milligauss
    • Microwave oven - 200 milligauss
    • Color TV (1 foot away) - 7 milligauss

    Are 69 kV lines a concern for firefighters who respond to downed electric wires or transformer fires?

    Firefighters who respond to this type of situation are trained in safety around electric wires and equipment. Firefighters and police personnel will secure the area, maintain crowd and traffic control and await response by PSE&G. This upgrade poses no additional hazards to first responders. In fact, the 69-kV equipment is much more storm-resistant. The new sturdier poles, fiber optic communications wire and upgraded relay protection all serve to minimize faults or problems on the line and allow for quicker restoration if there are outages.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    If you have questions or concerns, please call our toll free number at 1-800-901-5035.

NOTE: Construction schedule information is tentative and subject to change based on several factors, including weather and field conditions.

Hoboken

  • Week of June 24, 2019

    Traffic Alert for Milling & Paving Work around Madison Street Station

    As work continues at the Madison Street Substation located at 1160 Madison Avenue, we want to alert you to upcoming changes in traffic patterns on the block between Madison and Monroe from 11th to 12th Streets.
    Beginning Monday, June 24, 2019, through Thursday, June 27, PSE&G will be milling and paving along these streets:
    * Monroe (between 11th and 12th)
    * 12th Street (between Madison and Monroe)
    * Madison (between 11th and 12th)
    Please be aware of, and look for, signs indicating road closures and detours in the area

     

    May 2019

    Tree Maintenance Update - Jackson Street

    After inspecting the circuit route on Jackson Street, PSE&G—along with Quanika Stover, Hoboken’s Urban Forestry Coordinator—identified potentially hazardous trees that could be saved but are in need of pruning. There are also trees that will need to be removed and replaced because the health of the tree is in decline and the trimming would be too severe.

    We do not take tree removal lightly, as we know how important trees are to residents, the environment and community aesthetics. Rest assured we only remove a tree if it presents a true hazard to public safety. PSE&G’s 69kV Urban Reforestry initiative includes replacing trees that have been removed in order to accommodate the construction of a new circuit. We will plant utility-friendly, replacement trees in the spring. These new trees will not grow into electric conductors, providing an environmental and safety asset for current and future property owners.

    In addition, PSE&G will conduct directional pruning on the remaining trees that are consistent with the standards of the International Society of Arboriculture to help ensure the health of the trees.

    Tree Maintenance

    According to City Code (Chapter 136), it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to care for sidewalks and street trees. In order to keep the new tree healthy and beautiful, please:

    1. Water the tree every other day with five (5) gallons, totaling at least twenty (20) gallons per week. The most important factor in the survival of Hoboken's street trees is that they receive the proper amount of water. A Treegator bag will be provided with your new tree. A “treegator” bag is a watering bag that fills up quickly and drains slowly, this allows water to soak down to the roots where it is needed.

    2. Consider installing a tree guard. Tree guards shall have three (3) sides, the open side facing the curb, 12-18 inches high, around the entire perimeter of the tree hole with bark mulch pursuant to Hoboken Shade Tree Commission’s standards available at www.hobokennj.gov/trees.

    If you have any questions about trees, please contact Urban Forestry Coordinator Quanika Stover, qstover@hobokennj.gov or 201-420-2000 ext. 4004. If you’d like more information about PSE&G’s electric system upgrade, please call Reliability Hotline at (800) 901-5035.

     

    PSE&G will take all necessary steps to avoid any major inconvenience to our customers in the area. However, road and lane closures with possible detours will be necessary during construction. Road closures will not take place prior to 9:00 AM If possible, motorists are encouraged to travel an alternate route until the work is completed. Hoboken Police will be on site during construction hours to oversee and assist with new traffic patterns. All efforts will be made to keep interruptions to a minimum.

     

     

June 23, 2017

PSE&G to Begin Electric Reliability Work in Hoboken

(Newark, NJ – June 23, 2017)  Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, will begin construction on new critical underground electrical infrastructure in Hoboken as part of the utility’s Madison Street Substation Project. This work is part of the overall plan for the station that will ensure safe, reliable electric service for residents and businesses in the area. Construction is planned to begin on or around Monday, June 26, 2017 and will continue through December of 2017.

On or around June 26th, u... Continue Reading

August 27, 2014

Rutgers Study: PSE&G is an Economic Engine for New Jersey
Transmission upgrades responsible for creating 6,000 jobs annually from 2011-2021

(Newark, NJ – August 27, 2014) – From 2011 to 2021, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) investments in New Jersey’s electric transmission network will be a powerful stimulant of the state’s economy, according to an analysis by Rutgers University. The report, released today, concludes the company’s 10-year, $8.1 billion transmission investment program will support 6,000 jobs annually -- generating more than $4.3 billion in salary and benefits and... Continue Reading