When Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012, it caused unprecedented damage to the state’s utility infrastructure. To help enhance its ability to withstand and recover from future weather events, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) today submitted a filing to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to strengthen and increase the resiliency of its natural gas distribution and transmission systems. Through its New Jersey Reinvestment in System Enhancements (NJ RISE) program, NJNG proposes to invest over $100 million for storm hardening and mitigation projects in the most prone portions of its service territory. “We have firsthand experience with the effects that extreme weather events can cause,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “With NJ RISE, we are committed to improving our system and minimizing the impacts to our customers. While we can never predict the next Superstorm, our customers can count on us to continue to meet their expectations for safety and reliability.” Monmouth and Ocean counties, the heart of NJNG’s service territory, were the hardest hit by Sandy. Due to the extensive damage, service was curtailed to the barrier islands from Bay Head to Seaside Park and Long Beach Island. Working round-the-clock, NJNG re-pressurized or replaced 270 miles of main, installed one mile of 12 inch main, addressed 3,600 anomalies, rebuilt or replaced 51,000 meters, completed 121,000 service assessments and restored service to over 30,000 customers in less than eight weeks following the storm. NJ RISE is an important investment to help ensure the resiliency of NJNG’s natural gas distribution and transmission systems and minimize service impacts in times of extreme weather. Comprised of six targeted system enhancement projects, NJ RISE is designed to improve the durability, redundancy, stability, integrity and safety of NJNG’s infrastructure - making it less susceptible to storm damage. The projects include: the installation of 1.5 miles of distribution main in Sea Bright as a secondary feed, the moving of a regulator station off the barrier islands and installation of a new high pressure feed to Mantoloking, the installation of a secondary feed from Toms River to the South Seaside Peninsula, the installation of six miles of distribution main as a secondary feed to Long Beach Island, the installation of a supplemental regulator station on Long Beach Island and the installation of approximately 35,000 excess flow valves (EFV) in potential storm-affected areas. These upgrades will help mitigate the number and duration of outages, improve NJNG’s ability to respond to and control service disruptions and enhance the safety and reliability of its system.
Pending BPU approval, NJNG will begin with the installation of the EFVs and completing the necessary engineering and design work for the construction of the other projects, with all projects completed over a five-year timeframe. Work will be prioritized based on existing need, elevated concern and community impacts.In the filing, NJNG is seeking to recover the capital investment costs associated with NJ RISE through an annual adjustment to its base rate. NJNG will submit an annual NJ RISE cost recovery filing to the BPU. NJNG is requesting that the annual NJ RISE base rate adjustment occur at the same time as the company’s annual BGSS proceedings. About New Jersey Resources New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR) is a Fortune 1000 company that provides safe and reliable natural gas and renewable energy services, including transportation, distribution and asset management. With annual revenues of $2 billion, NJR is comprised of five key businesses:
- New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR’s principal subsidiary, operates and maintains 7,000 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve approximately half a million customers in New Jersey’s Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties.
- NJR Clean Energy Ventures is a leading renewable energy company that invests in, owns and operates solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity in excess of 47 megawatts, providing residential and commercial customers with low carbon solutions.
- NJR Energy Services manages a diversified portfolio of natural gas transportation and storage assets and provides customized energy solutions to its customers across North America.
- NJR Home Services is a provider of heating, central air conditioning, standby generators, solar and other indoor and outdoor comfort products to nearly 130,000 residential homes and businesses throughout New Jersey.
- NJR Energy Holdings invests and maintains an equity ownership in a natural gas storage facility and a transportation pipeline, and serves companies from local distributors and producers to electric generators and wholesale marketers.