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PSEG to look at shutting off fossil fuel operations, going nuclear

Source: 
NJBIZ

Utility giant PSEG is exploring shedding its fossil fuel operations as it eyes beefing up its nuclear energy portfolio, the Newark-based company announced on Friday.

Fossil fuels, which typically include oil and natural gas, make up a considerably small share of the electricity PSEG generates in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New Yorkjust 6,750 megawatts.

Of the more than 11,000 megawatts of capacity, 60 percent comes from its nuclear reactors.

PSEG owns two such plants in New Jersey the Salem Nuclear Power plant and the Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station, both in Salem County.

“An exit from the fossil generation business would accelerate PSEG’s transition into a zero-carbon generation platform,” PSEG said in a Friday statement.

“Given the relatively small part of PSEG that the non-nuclear business represents, this decision” will have a relatively blunted impact, PSEG added.

Just three gas plants will remain by 2046: One each in Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, according to a Reuters report from last year.

Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s president and chief executive officer, said Friday that separating the fossil plants would help the energy company push toward “clean energy investments, methane reduction, and zero-carbon generation.”

A key promise from Gov. Phil Murphy was to make the state 100 percent reliant on clean and renewable energy by 2050. He unveiled those plans in May 2018, at a bill-signing ceremony where he approved a $300 million bailout package for one of PSEG’s nuclear energy plants.

The state’s public utilities board formally approved the state aid a year later, albeit amid criticism from environmental groups and open government advocates, and open dissent from several board members.

Those subsidies will be financed via a surcharge on commercial and residential electric bills.

CREDIT: Daniel J. Munoz

Discussions

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Aug 7, 2020 1:37 pm GMT

They are making a big mistake. Don;t they know Nuclear fuel from Uranium is a finite resource? It's already hard to get and the waste of spent fuel is a huge and deadly problem already. Nuclear is the most expensive power ever created. Many new plants get cancelled before they are done.

QUOTE=Those subsidies will be financed via a surcharge on commercial and residential electric bills.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 7, 2020 4:16 pm GMT

While technically finite, the uranium supplies we have recoverable to us are leaps and bounds ahead of the available fossil fuel resources. While that may not be enough to solve the economic and technical challenges, I don't think scarcity of uranium is high on that list of hurdles

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