West Orange to Fairmount Heights Reliability Project

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About the Project

The West Orange-Fairmount Heights Reliability Project will add an underground transmission circuit in Essex County, New Jersey. The new 230,000 volt (230kV) circuit will deliver the increased electric capacity required by New Jersey businesses and residents, increase transfer capability, provide better power quality, and reduce transmission system congestion.

PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., the regional entity responsible for planning the transmission system, identified the need for the West Orange-Fairmount Heights Reliability Project, and assigned it to PSE&G to ensure reliability of electricity supplies in the region.

Underground Transmission – West Orange Station to Fairmount Heights Station  

An underground circuit will be added from PSE&G’s West Orange Switching Station in West Orange to the New Fairmount Heights Switching Station in Newark. The circuit will span more than 6 miles, traversing West Orange, Orange, East Orange, Irvington, and Newark.

Route Selection

The route utilizes the public rights-of-way for the entire span. The route for the underground portion was chosen to minimize impacts to state, county and municipal roads.

Approvals

The project will secure al necessary permits and approvals from municipalities along the route, as well as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other appropriate state and local agencies.

Projected schedule

  • Underground Construction Start – Fall 2016
  • In-service date – Summer 2018

For more information on this project, please contact:

Joe McQueen
1-800-931-7030
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  • What will this project do?

    PSE&G’s West Orange-Fairmount Heights Reliability Project will ensure reliable electric power for New Jersey residents in the northern part of the state.

    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 West Orange-Fairmount Heights line 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 address these voltage violations is to add an existing underground transmission circuit.

    How was this route selected?

    The route was selected so that virtually all construction activity occurs in public streets and in public right-of-way. The route selected for additional underground transmission circuits were chosen to minimize traffic impact.

    Where will it go?

    This underground transmission circuit will be added in West Orange, Orange, East Orange, Irvington, and Newark.

    When will it be built?

    Pending approvals, construction of the underground portion may begin in the fall of 2016. The entire project will be in-service in June of 2018.

    How will this impact traffic?

    Traffic may be impacted during construction. PSE&G will work with the local police departments to minimize any traffic issues that arise during construction.

    Safety of the public and construction crews is our highest priority. During construction, it is essential that you and anyone occupying your property, including children and pets, refrain from going near our construction work zones.

    How much will it cost?

    The project cost is a part of $277 million investment in local electrical infrastructure to ensure redundancy and reliability.

    What are the benefits to the region?

    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