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Public service spending plan may get approval soon

New Jersey wants utilities to get 2 percent of their power supply from solar energy by 2020. Attempts to spur installations by homes and businesses through loans failed because of cost, Izzo said. Public Service also is asking state officials to help win federal approval for a remote, offshore weather station near the site of a proposed 350-megawatt wind farm, Izzo said. The tower needs to be erected by August to begin collecting data this year, he said.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., owner of New Jersey's largest utility, said plans to spend $698 million on infrastructure over the next two years may be approved by regulators as early as next month.

Accelerated spending on gas lines, power lines and transformers can begin immediately after the state grants approval, Public Service Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo said today in an interview in New York.

Timely approval of flagship utility Public Service Electric & Gas's spending plan, a response to requests from state officials, would create jobs and improve the state's chances of winning federal stimulus funds, Izzo said.

The infrastructure spending is part of $1.66 billion in expenditures proposed by Public Service as other U.S. utilities cut back because of declining sales and higher borrowing costs. Public Service's spending could expand even more if it gets federal stimulus funds, which might be used to upgrade customers' meters and add more-efficient transformers, Izzo said.

"There's a recognition on the part of policy makers and us that economic recovery, in New Jersey in particular, can be led not by consumption and consumers but by investment by business in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., owner of New Jersey's largest utility, said plans to spend $698 million on infrastructure over the next two years may be approved by regulators as early as next month.

Accelerated spending on gas lines, power lines and transformers can begin immediately after the state grants approval, Public Service Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo said today in an interview in New York.

Timely approval of flagship utility Public Service Electric & Gas's spending plan, a response to requests from state officials, would create jobs and improve the state's chances of winning federal stimulus funds, Izzo said.

The infrastructure spending is part of $1.66 billion in expenditures proposed by Public Service as other U.S. utilities cut back because of declining sales and higher borrowing costs. Public Service's spending could expand even more if it gets federal stimulus funds, which might be used to upgrade customers' meters and add more-efficient transformers, Izzo said.

"There's a recognition on the part of policy makers and us that economic recovery, in New Jersey in particular, can be led not by consumption and consumers but by investment by business in assets that have a long life," Izzo said.

Efficiency Spending

After a call by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine for increased spending on infrastructure, Izzo in January also proposed $190 million of new spending by the utility to improve energy efficiency at homes and businesses through such measures as lighting and insulation.

Public Service shares rose 37 cents to $25.86 at 2:08 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Before today, they had fallen 13 percent this year.

PSE&G last month proposed a $773 million program to install power-producing solar panels in its service territory. State approval of that project may be more than six months off, Izzo said.

New Jersey wants utilities to get 2 percent of their power supply from solar energy by 2020. Attempts to spur installations by homes and businesses through loans failed because of cost, Izzo said.

Public Service also is asking state officials to help win federal approval for a remote, offshore weather station near the site of a proposed 350-megawatt wind farm, Izzo said. The tower needs to be erected by August to begin collecting data this year, he said.

Offshore Wind Farm

Corzine has said he wants his state to be the first in the U.S. Northeast to build an electricity-generating wind farm off the Atlantic coast.

In October, the Board of Public Utilities chose a venture comprising Public Service and Deepwater Wind to develop the project off Cape May and Atlantic counties.

Public Service, based in Newark, New Jersey, supplies power to about 2.1 million utility customers. It provides natural gas to 1.7 million homes and businesses. The company's plants can generate 19,796 megawatts, enough electricity for 15.8 million average U.S. homes, based on an Energy Department estimate.


Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/ap...

MAR 5 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19368-public-service-spending-plan-may-get-approval-soon
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