Fairmount Heights Switching Station

About the Project

The Fairmount Heights switching station is an essential, new construction project which will help PSE&G continue its efforts to improve the reliability of our transmission system.

Required by PJM, the regional transmission organization, it will relieve the projected transmission overloads and provide emergency backup to PSE&G’s Newark Switching Station. The station is also a prime example of the kind of system reinforcement that became apparent after Super Storm Sandy flooded a number of electrical stations along waterways such as Newark Bay.

Since this site is located inland, this station — had it been built before the storm — could have helped keep the lights on in Newark for thousands of customers.

Employment and Economic Benefits Report

The Brattle Group recently released a report on the employment and economic benefits of investing in transmission infrastructure.

A robust transmission grid not only ensures reliable delivery of electricity but provides many other benefits such as reducing power production costs, facilitating renewable energy development, and providing insurance against extreme events such as local power shortages due to weather and other factors. Investment in transmission infrastructure also supports employment and stimulates the economy.

Economic benefits are significant. Each million dollars of transmission investment supports five to eight years of local full-time employment, with an expected economic impact of $1.4 million to $1.8 million.

According to the report, transmission infrastructure projects may be driven by a single concern, such as reliability, but may also relieve transmission congestion and enable future integration of lower-cost renewable resources. PJM Interconnection, the regional entity responsible for planning the transmission system, has noted that voltage upgrades can lower congestion costs by $1.7 billion, which benefits New Jersey ratepayers.


For more information on this project, please contact:

Joe McQueen

For media inquiries regarding this project, please contact:

PSE&G's Media Hotline
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  • What is the project?

    The project is to remediate and restore the site bordered by Littleton Avenue, 11th Avenue, and 7th Avenue in the West Ward of Newark. This site will be the location of the Fairmount Heights Switching Station project which will improve electric reliability in the City of Newark.

    Why is the remediation project needed?

    Prior to PSE&G’s purchase of the property there were several petroleum (fuel oil) underground storage tanks (USTs) on the property that were associated with the former industrial operations. One or more of these USTs leaked, causing a discharge of fuel beneath the property impacting the soil and groundwater.

    How long will this project take to complete?

    Remediation activities are expected to commence in May 2015 and scheduled to be completed by January 2016.

    What are the hours/days that workers will be working on site?

    Workers will be onsite Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Saturday work may be needed. 

    Is there any potential for people to be exposed to soil contamination from the site?

    No. All of the excavated materials are shipped by covered trucks off site for treatment and disposal, so there is no health risk.

    Are local public water supplies affected?

    No. Groundwater is not used as a source of drinking water in the City of Newark. ‎The City of Newark drinking water supply comes from reservoirs located in the Pequannock and Wanaque watersheds of Morris, Sussex and Passaic Counties and is not affected by the site. Drinking water is conveyed by pipelines from these reservoirs and is tested regularly by United Water in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) safe drinking water quality requirements.

    What is PSE&G doing to control dust?

    Air monitoring equipment will be installed along the perimeter of the work area. Standard dust and vapor control measures (such as water mist, foam spray, and plastic sheeting) will be used to control potential dust and odor emissions during excavation activities.

    What measures will PSE&G take to reduce any odors from the site?

    There may be odors associated with excavation of the contaminated soils. Because odors can be detected by people at levels below what can be detected by an air monitoring instrument, and well below what would be considered a health concern, some detection of odors throughout the soil removal phase of this project may occur.

    The project is following a Perimeter Air Monitoring Plan (PAMP). Air samples are collected from around the perimeter of the work site and air samples are analyzed by an independent New Jersey laboratory.

    If I smell a natural gas odor is it related to the project?

    The contaminated soils do NOT have an odor similar to that associated with natural gas. If you detect natural gas, you should call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734 or 9-1-1.

    Why are workers on the site wearing protective gear?

    In keeping with standard federal health and safety procedures, workers performing certain activities on site will wear personal protective equipment including Tyvek coveralls, which are one-piece garments (usually white) commonly worn by mechanics, painters, and laboratory workers where a disposable, one-time use coverall is needed. These garments are worn for a variety of reasons and their usage does not mean there is a hazard to the public. The work performed on-site is often messy and workers can choose to wear these garments to keep their clothes clean. Other protective gear may include gloves, boots and respirators.

    How much truck traffic will there be during soil excavation?

    We anticipate one truck to be entering or leaving the property approximately every 15 minutes, throughout the day.  This frequency of trucks entering and exiting the site will not alter or impact traffic patterns in this area.

    What is the truck route during excavation?

    The Remediation Contractor will submit a proposed truck route designed to minimize truck traffic on residential roadways to the greatest extent feasible. A copy of the truck route will be provided to the City of Newark.

    Where will trucks be staged during the excavation activities?

    Trucks will be staged on the site, not on roadways surrounding the site.

    When will the station construction phase begin?

    Station construction will commence in the Winter of 2016, once the remediation activity is completed. Wall construction activities will begin in the Summer of 2016. 

    When will the station be in-service?

    The station is expected to fully operational by the Summer of 2018. 

    Where do I go for more information?

    If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Fairmount Heights Project hotline at 1-800-931-7030.

December 09, 2015

PSE&G and others launch “Art Wall” project at Fairmount Switching Station

Visit the future site of a brand new switching station in Newark’s West Ward and you’ll see large piles of dirt, dump trucks and other equipment as PSE&G contractors prepare the parcel for construction. But across the street at a local preschool, city officials and residents were already praising plans to bring an artistic approach to the reliability infrastructure investment.

At a press conference yesterday, Dec. 8, PSEG’s Derek DiRisio and Rick Thigpen, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and representatives from the city of Newark and t... Continue Reading

December 08, 2015

Around Town: Electrical switching station in Newark is artistic sight for sore eyes. (NJ.com)

The Fairmount section of Newark's West Ward will be home to an electrical switching station that's not going to be an unsightly facility the community feared was coming to its neighborhood.

It's actually going to look good when 14 local and national artists, including six from Newark, beautify a 30-foot wall that will surround the structure at Littleton and Central avenues.

As part of a deal to allow Public Service Electric & Gas to build the facility, the utility also reached an agreement with the city and the Urban League... Continue Reading

February 12, 2015

PSE&G to Conduct Soil Remediation at its Property Along Littleton Avenue in Newark, NJ

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), is conducting an environmental cleanup of the property it owns along Littleton Avenue in Newark, New Jersey.  This property was first developed in the mid-1800s and operated by the former Cooper Wiss Company to manufacture hand tools and scissors.  In 1988 the property was acquired by Victory Temple National Holiness Church which converted the facility to a church and school.  The property was purchased by PSE&G in July 2012 as the site of a future electric switching station that will... Continue Reading

January 26, 2015

PSE&G Statement on NJ BPU Approval of McCarter Switching Station Agreement

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is pleased that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) has approved the agreement reached last fall to build a new switching station in Newark’s West Ward to maintain safe, reliable electric service. PSE&G’s McCarter Switching Station will increase reliability of the city’s electric grid and build system redundancy that would have kept the lights on for thousands of customers had it been in service before Superstorm Sandy. The agreement is also a win for the city and communit... Continue Reading