Nuclear Energy is Critical to New Jersey's Energy Master Plan and Long-Term Clean Energy Goals
NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 1, 2020
NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PSEG today filed applications to extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County in order to preserve New Jersey's largest carbon-free source of electricity and help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals.
Thanks to PSEG's nuclear plants, nearly 40% of New Jersey's energy supply is already carbon-free. Nuclear energy delivers more than 90% of all of the state's carbon-free energy and is essential to New Jersey's ability to successfully achieve its goal of a 100% carbon-free energy supply by 2050, as outlined in the state's Energy Master Plan and documented by numerous independent studies.
"Nuclear energy already is New Jersey's largest source of carbon-free electricity. No other energy source currently comes close," said Rick Thigpen, PSEG's senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship. "We want to continue to partner with Gov. Phil Murphy and other state leaders to ensure that New Jersey's nuclear plants are able to continue generating electricity – while producing zero carbon emissions – long into the future."
"New Jersey can only achieve its ambitious clean energy goals with nuclear energy in the mix," Thigpen said.
PSEG's applications seek an extension of ZECs that were first established last year. On April 18, 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued an order determining that PSEG's Hope Creek, Salem 1 and Salem 2 nuclear plants were eligible to receive ZECs from April 18, 2019, through May 31, 2022. As a result, New Jersey has continued to benefit from the air quality, fuel diversity and energy resiliency delivered by the plants. PSEG now is applying for a three-year extension of the ZEC program.
Since the first ZECs eligibility period began, power markets have deteriorated significantly, thus the financial needs of New Jersey's nuclear plants have continued to grow. Nationwide, nuclear plants continue to struggle economically to survive. Since 2018, three nuclear plants have closed in the eastern U.S., all for economic reasons, and the impact has had a ripple effect. If New Jersey's nuclear plants were forced to shut down, as well, the carbon-free energy they produce would primarily be replaced by existing fossil resources. The increased fossil generation would cause an immediate increase in carbon emissions, reducing air quality and working against the state's long-term clean energy goals.
Moreover, preservation of PSEG's New Jersey nuclear plants will help keep everyone's energy costs down, with independent studies forecasting a $400-million-per-year increase in customers' energy bills if these nuclear plants were to close.
"New Jersey's ongoing support for nuclear energy is a wise investment in clean energy," Thigpen said. "At PSEG, we're committed to supporting our state and doing what is in the best interests of our customers and communities. Working together, we can ensure the state is able to produce the electricity we need to power our homes and businesses without producing the carbon emissions we don't."
For more information and documentation in support of PSEG's ZEC applications, please click here.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with approximately 13,000 employees. Headquartered in Newark, N.J., PSEG's principal operating subsidiaries are: Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), PSEG Power and PSEG Long Island. PSEG is a Fortune 500 company included in the S&P 500 Index and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 12 consecutive years (https://corporate.pseg.com).
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