PSEG pursues ZEC extensions for Hope Creek, Salem

October 6, 2020, 7:00AMNuclear News

New Jersey–based Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) has filed applications to extend zero-emission certificates (ZEC) for its Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants, co-located in Hancocks Bridge, N.J. Hope Creek is home to one 1,237-MWe boiling water reactor, while Salem houses two pressurized water reactors, with Unit 1 rated at 1,169-MWe and Unit 2 at 1,181-MWe.

According to an October 1 announcement from PSEG, Hope Creek and Salem deliver more than 90 percent of all of New Jersey’s carbon-free energy and are essential to the state’s ability to achieve its goal of a 100 percent carbon-free energy supply by 2050, as outlined in the state’s Energy Master Plan.

More: An addendum to PSEG’s announcement, with information and documentation in support of the ZEC applications, can be found here.

Background: The New Jersey legislature passed a law establishing the ZEC program in May 2018, and in November of that year PSEG submitted ZEC applications for Hope Creek and Salem. (The utility had warned New Jersey officials in late 2017 that it would be forced to prematurely retire the facilities without some sort of financial support.)

On April 18, 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, in a four-to-one vote, issued an order determining that Hope Creek and Salem were eligible to receive ZECs from April 18, 2019, through May 31, 2022. PSEG is now applying for a three-year extension.

Under the ZEC program, approximately $100 million per year for each of the plants is to be collected from ratepayers for three years, at the rate of $0.004 per kWh. At the end of three years, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will reevaluate the program.

What they’re saying: “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,” said Rick Thigpen, PSEG’s senior vice president for corporate citizenship. “New Jersey can only achieve its ambitious clean energy goals with nuclear energy in the mix.”

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