Northeast Grid Reliability Project

Northeast Grid

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About the Project

The Northeast Grid Reliability Project upgraded PSE&G’s power service in the northern part of New Jersey from 138kV service to 230kV on existing overhead transmission lines to comply with requirements set by the PJM Interconnection, the regional energy grid.  New 230kV underground transmission circuits were also installed in Jersey City and from PSE&G’s Bergen Switching Station in Ridgefield to its Athenia Switching Station in Clifton. This project ensures reliable electric power for nearly 1 million New Jersey businesses and residents that require increased electric capacity, increase transfer capability, provide better power quality and reduce transmission system congestion.

The project is estimated at $975 million [see Forward Looking statement] with completion in July 2016. 

The project upgraded a 50-mile route of overhead transmission along existing PSE&G rights-of-way from Roseland, through West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Clifton, Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville, North Arlington, Newark, Lyndhurst, Kearny and Jersey City.  The overhead transmission portion of the project included new transmission towers all designed to withstand wind impacts up to 105 mph. Existing towers in Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville and North Arlington were originally designed for 230kV power and therefore will not be replaced. A 3.5-mile underground transmission circuit was also installed in Jersey City from PSE&G’s Hudson Switching Station to its South Waterfront Switching Station. Additionally, a 15-mile underground circuit was installed through Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Bogota, Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Lodi, Saddle Brook, Garfield and Clifton. The project also included the reconfiguration of PSE&G’s switching stations in Roseland, Clifton, Saddle Brook, Newark and Jersey City.

PSE&G secured the necessary required permits and approvals from state and federal agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, US Fish and Wildlife Service and any other applicable state, municipal, county and regional agencies. 

Economic Impacts of Construction Expenditures for PSE&G’s Northeast Grid Reliability Project

Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy recently released a report detailing the estimated economic impact of the transmission network upgrades planned as part of PSE&G’s statewide infrastructure upgrades.

According to the study, the project have a positive impact on New Jersey’s economy. Once completed, the $975 million investment [see Forward Looking statement] to upgrade the capacity of PSE&G’s overhead transmission line from 138kV to 230kV, as well as the addition of new 230kV underground circuits, accounted for the creation of thousands of much needed jobs. The total construction expenditures generated labor compensation, state and local tax revenue, licensing and permitting fees paid to governments and public agencies and an increase in total gross domestic product for New Jersey (GDP).

Read the Rutgers Report: Economic Impact Analysis of PSE&G's Capital Expenditure Portfolio

For more information on this project, please contact:

Joseph McQueen
1-877-678-5784

For media inquiries regarding this project, please contact:

PSE&G's Media Hotline
973-430-7734
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    1. What is a Transmission Line?
    2. What will this project do?
    3. Why is this upgrade needed?
    4. How was this route selected?
    5. Where will it go?
    6. When will it be built?
    7. How much will it cost?
    8. What are the benefits to the region?
    9. What approvals are you seeking?
    10. Do the lines produce electric and magnetic fields?
    11. Are electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) harmful?
    12. Who can I contact for more information?

     

    What is a Transmission Line?

    An overhead transmission line is a set of three wires, called conductors, attached to structures that deliver electric power from g generating sources (aka wind turbine, solar, etc) to customers. The power is then distributed to consumers from the substations through lower-voltage distribution lines. The three transmission line conductors carry the electric power, but transmission lines also may have one or two smaller wires called shield wires at the top of the structure that protect the line from lightning strikes. Transmission lines are designed to operate at a specific design voltage. The higher the voltage, the more electric power a transmission line can carry.

    What will this project do?

    PSE&G’s Northeast Grid Reliability Project will ensure reliable electric power for nearly 1 million New Jersey residents in the northern part of the state by upgrading the overhead transmission system and substations from 138,000-volt (138kV) to 230,000-volt (230kV) operation, and adding additional underground circuits for improved reliability.

    Why is this upgrade needed?

    People are using more electricity to power everything from big-screen televisions to computers and the latest kitchen appliances. The existing transmission system in the project area, some of which dates back to the 1920s, was built before the popularity of computers, large televisions, iPods, cellular phones and other electric devices that have become common in our lives. Population trends indicate continued growth in the region.

    PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the regional entity responsible for planning the transmission system, identified the need for the Northeast Grid Reliability Project, which is designed to deliver the electric power required by New Jersey businesses and residents.

    The project will relieve transmission system congestion and provide better power quality in the region. The recommended solution to improve reliability is to upgrade and convert the existing overhead transmission circuits, substations and switching stations from 138kV to 230kV, and add additional underground circuits.

    How was this route selected?

    The selected route for overhead transmission upgrades follow existing PSE&G rights-of-way for the project from the Roseland Switching Station to the Hudson Switching Station in Jersey City, thereby minimizing the construction impact to the surrounding communities.  The route for the underground portion was chosen to minimize impacts to state, county and municipal roads.

    Where will it go?

    Overhead transmission wire upgrades will take place in Roseland, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Clifton, Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville, North Arlington, Newark, Lyndhurst, Kearny, and Jersey City along the existing PSE&G right of way.

    Also, five PSE&G stations will be upgraded to 230kV. They are: West Caldwell Substation, Cook Road Substation in Nutley, Kingsland Station in North Arlington, Turnpike Station in Kearny and Kearny Switching Station in Kearny.

    The following 230kv stations will be reconfigured: Roseland Switching Station, Athenia Switching Station in Clifton, Saddle Brook Substation, Essex Station in Newark, Hudson Switching Station in Jersey City and South Waterfront Switching Station in Jersey City.

    Additional underground transmission circuits will be added in Clifton, Garfield, Saddle Brook, Lodi, Rochelle Park, Maywood, Hackensack, Bogota, Ridgefield Park, Ridgefield, and Jersey City.

    When will it be built?

    Construction of the underground portion began in the summer of 2012.  Overhead construction could began in the fall of 2013. The project will be in-service in June 2016.

    How much will it cost?

    The project cost is estimated to be $975 million.

    What are the benefits to the region?

    In a word - reliability. The upgrade will help the region’s utilities meet the growing demand for safe, reliable electricity.

    What approvals are you seeking?

    PSE&G will secure necessary permits and approvals from local governing authorities along the route, as well as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other applicable state agencies.

    Do the 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 

    Who can I contact for more information?

    If you have questions or concerns call our toll free number at 1-877-678-5784.

Construction schedule information is tentative and subject to change based on several factors including weather and field conditions. If you have any questions, please call 1-877-678-5784.

Access Road Work

Wood mats will be installed along ROW to provide access to tower locations.  Various erosion control measures will be installed with the mats. Mats will be stacked to provide working area.  Jersey barriers may be placed on the edges of some work pads. 

Drilling Foundation Work

A drilling machine will remove soil from the ground creating a large hole. Tri-axle trucks will remove the soil from the construction site. After installing the steel cages, concrete will be placed inside of the hole. This procedure requires many pieces of equipment moving around on the access roads at one time. The drilling operation will require a drill rig, loader, and Tri-axle trucks. Also, the concrete placement is a continuous operation which cannot be stopped. In some cases there will be a “peppering” crew which arrives before the drilling. This crew uses a machine to soften the existing ground before the drilling crew arrives.

Helical Foundation Work

Several specialized machines will be seen on the work pads installing helical pile.  This is done by applying pressure and rotating the screw-like structure into the ground.  Three of these machines will be in operation between Kingsland and Turnpike Stations.  

Foundation Cap Work

After helical pile installation separate crews will come in and cap the foundation.  This will involve welding a steel cage and pouring concrete.  

Steel Construction

Steel lattice structures will be assembled at One Disposal Road, to be lifted at a later date into place by Helicopter.  

Drilled Pier Foundation Work 

A wide diameter shaft will be drilled into the ground.  This shaft will be surrounded by a steel casing to prevent the walls from caving in.  A rebar cage will be lowered into the shaft once completed, and concrete will be used to fill in the remaining space.  All phases will require various pieces of heavy machinery to; drive the casing, excavate the shaft, and lift the rebar cage into position.

Site Preparation

Some work may be seen near the edge of the Hackensack River across from Hudson Generating Station.  Areas where future towers are to be installed will be cleared of debris, and a preliminary excavation will be conducted to look for, and remove, potential near-surface obstructions.

Vibratory Caisson Test

A monopole will be set on its foundation.  Wires will be attached to the pole.  The wires will be pulled to various set amounts to test the performance of the foundation. 

Site Preparation 

Areas where future towers are to be installed will be cleared of debris, and a preliminary excavation will be conducted to look for, and remove, potential near-surface obstructions.  Divers will be seen in the Hackensack River inspecting the sheetpile bulkhead.  Backhoes and other standard construction equipment will be seen.

Wire Demolition

Conductor will be removed from towers between Kingsland and Turnpike Stations.  Bucket trucks, mobile shield structures and other equipment will be seen in the area off of the NJ Turnpike and near Belleville Turnpike.  Further demolition will be seen running along Fish House Road to Kearny Generating Station.

Belleville

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Belleville.

Bloomfield

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Bloomfield.

Bogota

June 2016

River Road

Crews will continue working near this location.

Day and night work will occur near this location. A portion of River Road will be closed near the active work area. 

PSE&G will work with the Borough of Bogota Police Department to minimize traffic impacts. 

Cedar Grove

  • All major Overhead Construction Work has been completed in Cedar Grove.

Clifton

St. Andrews Blvd.

  • All major overhead construction is complete.
  • Crews may be seen on the PSE&G right-of-way removing signage. 

PSE&G will work with the City of Clifton Police Department to keep traffic impacts to a minimum. 

Garfield

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Garfield.

Hackensack

June 2016

Central Avenue between 1st Street & Railroad Place

Crews will continue working near this location.

Central Ave. & Railroad Place 

Crews will continue working near this location.

PSE&G will work with the City of Hackensack Police Department to keep traffic impacts to a minimum. 

Jersey City

  • All major activity has been completed in Jersey City. 

Kearny

June 2016

Baler Boulevard 

Restoration work and paving activity will occur near this location.

PSE&G will work with the Town of Kearny Police Department to keep traffic impacts to a minimum. 

Little Falls

  • All major overhead construction has been completed in Little Falls. 

Lodi

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Lodi. 

Lyndhurst

May 2016

Disposal Road 

Restoration work and paving activity will occur near this location.

PSE&G will work with the Town of Lyndhurst Police Department to keep traffic impacts to a minimum.

Maywood

June 2016

Central Avenue

Crews will continue working near this location.

PSE&G will work with the Borough of Maywood to keep traffic impacts to a minimum.

Newark

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Newark.

North Arlington

  • All major overhead construction has been completed in North Arlington.

North Caldwell

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in North Caldwell. 

Nutley

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Nutley.

Ridgefield

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Ridgefield.

Ridgefield Park

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Ridgefield Park.

Rochelle Park

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Rochelle Park. 

Roseland

  • All major overhead construction is complete. 

Saddle Brook

  • At this time there is no major work scheduled in Saddle Brook. 

West Caldwell

  • At this time there is no major worked scheduled in West Caldwell. 
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

August 18, 2014

PSE&G Begins Underground Construction in Ridgefield Park as part of Northeast Grid Electric Reliability Project

(Newark, NJ – August 18, 2014) Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has begun construction through Ridgefield Park as part of the utility’s Northeast Grid Electric Reliability Project. The utility will be installing 15 miles of new 230,000 kilo-volt (230kV) underground electric transmission circuit from its Athenia Switching Station in Clifton to the Bergen Switching Station in Ridgefield. The underground route in Ridgefield Park runs from Railroad Ave. to Mt. Vernon St. to Teaneck Rd. to the Bergen Turnpike. Manhole installation... Continue Reading