NEWARK, N.J., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PSEG's chairman, president and CEO Ralph Izzo today told shareholders at the company's annual meeting that PSEG is planning to invest billions in projects aimed at making the energy infrastructure of New Jersey resilient to natural disasters, providing reliable service, helping the environment and stimulating the economy. He celebrated the company's award-winning reliability and highlighted the efficient performance of the company's generation fleet.
"We have long invested in initiatives that advance New Jersey's energy and economic goals," Izzo said. "We are hard at work on many fronts- with efforts that modernize infrastructure, provide renewable and energy efficiency solutions and create jobs."
Izzo highlighted the utility's plan to make New Jersey "Energy Strong," a proposal that goes beyond traditional reliability programs and aims to make the state's energy infrastructure more resilient against natural disaster. PSE&G proposes investing $3.9 billion over ten years to protect critical electric and gas facilities; deploy smart grid technologies; create additional redundancy to minimize outages, strengthen poles and move some overhead lines underground. This effort would create nearly 6,000 jobs, and thanks to low commodity prices and some restructuring fees rolling off, is expected to have minimal net impact on customer bills."Changing weather patterns, along with an increased dependence on energy, require a re-thinking of the state's energy infrastructure," Izzo said. "We need to strengthen our system so that we're better prepared for the next Sandy or Irene, and New Jersey is better positioned for long-term economic well-being." Superstorm Sandy was the biggest storm in PSE&G's history, causing unprecedented damage. Izzo recalled the work of PSEG employees in the aftermath of that storm and the Nor'easter that quickly followed, saying that over a two-week period they, along with 4,000 workers from 24 states and Canada, restored power to more customers than any utility in America had done before. "We remain focused on moving forward as an operationally excellent, integrated energy company," Izzo said. "Our combined strengths provide flexibility and diversification to help us weather various market conditions while increasing our options."