NEWARK, N.J., July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Support is growing for PSE&G's "Energy Strong" proposal, a plan to harden New Jersey's energy infrastructure in the face of progressively extreme weather. Fifty-four towns have adopted resolutions supporting the utility's plan as well as Bergen, Hudson, Mercer, Passaic and Somerset Counties. There is also increasingly broad support among industry, labor, business groups, hospitals and senior communities.
PSE&G developed its Energy Strong plan in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a historic weather event that caused unprecedented damage and disruption to essential services in New Jersey."While an analysis by the Associated Press showed that power was restored more quickly in New Jersey than in surrounding states, the fact is that more than 1.9 million of our customers lost power during Sandy -- some for as long as two weeks -- as waterlogged systems were repaired and replaced," said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G. "With Sandy, Irene and the 2011 October snowstorm, we had three of the most damaging storms in our company's history in quick succession. It was clear that we needed to do something extraordinary." Energy Strong would invest $3.9 billion over 10 years to protect switching and substations from water damage, reinforce utility poles and overhead wires, deploy smart grid technology to reduce the likelihood and duration of outages, and replace gas lines in flood-prone areas. It has garnered support from a broad range of interested parties including:
- Leading Business Groups: the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Alliance for Action, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Newark Regional Business Partnership, New Jersey Concrete & Aggregate Association, Somerset County Business Partnership, South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Southern New Jersey Development Council, and Union Township Chamber of Commerce.
- New Jersey Businesses: Burger Stop International, Camden Iron and Metal, Corrib Biofuels, Gellert Global Group, Jordache Enterprises, Okonite Company, River Terminal Logistics, Sea Box, Seajet Warehousing & Distribution, Stony Brook Regional Sewage Authority, Trap Rock Industries, and Weldon Materials.
- Leading Labor Unions: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Local Union 94, Laborers' International Union of North America, New Jersey Building and Construction Trade Council, New Jersey Pipe Trades, New Jersey State AFL-CIO, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and Local 855, and Utility Workers Union of America and Local 601.
- Health Care and Educational Institutions: Children's Specialized Hospital, Christian Health Care Center, Continuum Health Partners, Cooper Health System, Englewood Hospital, NJ Hospital Association, Princeton HealthCare System, Springpoint Senior Living, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Trinitas Health and Regional Medical Center.