FAQs - Susquehanna - Roseland Electric Reliability Project
- What is a Transmission Line?
- What is the Susquehanna – Roseland?
- Why is this new line needed?
- Who will build the new transmission line?
- Where will the line run?
- How was this route selected?
- Has the line been approved by the BPU and other regulatory agencies?
- When will it be built?
- How much will it cost?
- Who will pay for this project?
- Who is PJM?
- What are the benefits to people in New Jersey?
- Why doesn’t PSE&G focus on energy conservation and alternative sources like solar & wind power?
- How many new transmission towers will be built and where will they be placed?
- Do the lines produce electric and magnetic fields?
- Are electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) harmful?
- Where can I learn more?
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.
The Susquehanna-Roseland Project is a 500,000-volt transmission line that will be built between Pennsylvania and New Jersey to help maintain electric system reliability for customers throughout the region.
PJM Interconnection, the regional entity responsible for planning the transmission system, has determined that the power line is needed to ensure reliability of electricity supplies in our region. The process that PJM utilized to make this determination was approved by the federal government and was open and transparent. Demand for electricity is growing, and new transmission lines are necessary for New Jersey and Pennsylvania utilities to continue to meet that demand. This new 500,000-volt line will help meet reliability requirements of the grid and ensure New Jersey’s and Pennsylvania’s economic growth.
PSE&G will build the New Jersey portion and PPL Electric Utilities, based in Allentown, PA, will build the Pennsylvania portion.
The line will run from PPL’s Susquehanna substation near Berwick, Pa., to PSE&G’s substation in Roseland, NJ.
The route for the line begins in Hardwick Township, Warren County, proceeds east to Andover Township, Sussex County, and on to Hopatcong Borough, also in Sussex County. The route continues east to Montville Township in Morris County and then turns south to Roseland Borough, Essex County. It follows an existing power line for the entire 45-mile length and will pass through 16 municipalities. The municipalities include Andover Township, Boonton Township, Byram Township, East Hanover Township, Fredon Township, Hardwick Township, Hopatcong Borough, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon Borough, Montville Township, Newton Township, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Rockaway Township, Roseland Borough, Sparta Township and Stillwater Township.
The Susquehanna-Roseland project consists of constructing 150 miles of 500,000-volt (500kV circuit) line (approximately 45 miles in NJ), constructing a new 500kV GIS switching station in Hopatcong, as well as expanding an existing switching station in Roseland.
PSE&G’s selected the route based in part on a detailed study performed by a New Jersey-based siting contractor with national experience on projects such as this. In addition, the company considered information gathered from three public workshops held in June 2008, meetings with elected officials and agencies, public meetings with a number of affected towns. and several hundred comments submitted to the project Web site, reliabilityproject.pseg.com. PPL also selected this route as the best pathway for this new line.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) unanimously approved the project on February 11, 2010 and issued the written order on April 21, 2010.
In June of 2009, we received a favorable determination from the New Jersey Highlands Council for the portion of the project that crosses the Highlands region. In January 2010, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) approved this determination.
PSE&G received approval from the National Park Service (NPS) for the four miles of the line that go through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Appalachian Trail along an existing transmission pathway. After conducting its review, the NPS announced that its preferred route is the one already approved by the NJ BPU, along the existing transmission right-of-way. The Final Environmental Impact Statement was granted in August 2012, with a Record of Decision issued in October 2012.
PSE&G has been granted NJ DEP permits to work in freshwater wetlands and flood hazard areas.
PSE&G began construction in June 2012, and the project is expected to be in service by June 2015.
We will inform municipalities and property owners when construction is expected to begin in their towns.
The line is expected to cost between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion. The New Jersey portion will cost approximately $790 million, which includes construction of the new switching station in Hopatcong as well as expansion of an existing switching station in Roseland. The Pennsylvania portion of the line, to be built by PPL, is estimated to cost $630 million.
Because the line provides regional reliability benefits, will serve as a backbone project in the PJM region and will be operated at 500 kV, the cost will be shared by all electric customers in the PJM region, which includes 13 states and the District of Columbia.
PJM Interconnection is a federally regulated regional transmission organization (RTO) that is responsible for planning the transmission system to ensure that it satisfies reliability criteria. PJM also coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The region has a population of 51 million people.
The line will help the region’s utilities meet demand for electricity, which has been increasing. The line will increase the reliability of the high-voltage electric delivery system in our region, making it less likely that a problem with one power line would lead to a regional blackout like the one that affected millions of people in August 2003. • The line will prevent overloads on existing power lines in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Why doesn’t PSE&G focus on energy conservation and alternative energy sources like solar and wind power?
PSE&G is committed to initiatives already under way to reduce electric use by boosting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. But even with these alternatives, statewide electric demand is still expected to increase. This upgrade is needed to meet regional demand.
The need has been determined for approximately 234 transmission structures for the New Jersey portion of the project. In many cases the new structures will be placed in the existing tower locations.
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.
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.
If you have questions or concerns, please visit our website at http://www.psegtransmission.com/reliability-projects/susquehanna-roseland or call our toll free number at 1-888-771-7734.