Why is this project needed?
PJM, the regional grid operator, identified the need for the North Brunswick Switching Station Upgrade Project, which is designed to reconfigure and upgrade the PSE&G Brunswick Switching Station in North Brunswick, NJ. As part of the PJM Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP), these additions and improvements will enhance electric transmission system reliability in the North Brunswick area, while meeting power quality requirements in the region. The work will start early next year and be completed in 2018.
The existing transmission system in the project area dates back to the 1920’s-1930’s, during an era of lower electrical demands. As people are using more electricity to power everything from big-screen televisions to computers and the latest kitchen appliances, the demand on existing and aged infrastructure grows. PSE&G will implement this project to maintain reliable and safe electric service in light of the increased demand for electricity.
What is the project?
This project will reconfigure the Brunswick Station’s 230,000 volt (230kV) switch yard, eliminate the existing 138,000 volt (138kV) switch yard, and construct a new 69,000 volt (69kV) switch yard to connect this station to the 69kV switch yard at the PSE&G Bennetts Lane Substation in Somerset, NJ. The reconfiguration work includes the installation of new monopoles, as well as modifications to the existing electric equipment and infrastructure inside the station. All construction work will be completed inside the station fence line.
When will construction activities begin?
Activity inside Brunswick Switching Station will begin in February 2016 with the deconstruction of existing aged equipment; this work will require removal of a number of trees inside the station site. Construction of new equipment and infrastructure will progress continually until December 2018.
How much will it cost?
The project cost is an estimated $112 million investment to reconfigure and upgrade the Brunswick Switching Station.
What are the benefits to the region?
The work within our stations and rights-of-way will be beneficial to continue delivering safe, reliable electric service to our customers, increasing the resiliency of the electric transmission system, and fostering economic growth in New Jersey by creating construction jobs and providing vital electric service for further economic growth.
What approvals are you seeking?
PSE&G will secure all required permits and approvals from all federal, state, and local governmental agencies with jurisdiction over the upgrade project.
What is a Switching Station?
A switching station is comprised of electrical infrastructure and facility equipment used to tie together two or more electric circuits through switches. The switches are selectively arranged to permit a circuit to be disconnected or to change the electric connection between the circuits.
Do transmission lines produce electric and magnetic fields?
Electric and magnetic fields are present wherever there is a flow of electric current, whether in wires in the home, electrical appliances, or power lines. Electric fields are produced by the voltage or electrical pressure in a wire and are present even if an appliance is turned off, as long as it is connected to a source of electric power. Magnetic fields are produced whenever there is a flow of electric current through a wire. Electric and magnetic fields are not visible, like other fields such as a gravitational field or a temperature field.
Are electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) harmful?
The overwhelming body of scientific study shows no definitive link between EMF and human health issues. Since 1977, concerns over magnetic fields and possible health effects have been the subject of numerous scientific and regulatory review panels, and extensive research and studies continue to be funded in this field of study.
After nearly 30 years of worldwide research, there are no direct or causal links between electric and magnetic fields and adverse health effects. New Jersey has standards regarding maximum permissible electric fields at the edge of transmission line rights of way. However, there are no state standards with regards to magnetic field levels nor are there any federal rules, regulations or standards for either electric or magnetic field levels.
Magnetic fields from appliances like hair dryers, microwave ovens, and motorized appliances are often stronger than the fields directly beneath power lines. PSE&G will design and install this line according to appropriate state and federal guidelines related to safety and environmental impact.
Learn more about EMF
For questions and comments about the North Brunswick Switching Station Upgrade Project, please call our hotline number 1-877-462-0005.