PSEG quickens pace to net zero

June 29, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Hope Creek nuclear power plant

New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group has announced its intention to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, shaving two decades off its previously announced target date of 2050. PSEG is owner of the Hope Creek nuclear plant and is co-owner, with Exelon, of the Salem plant.

According to PSEG on June 24, its “climate vision” is “one of the first and most aggressive” to be set by a large utility and power generator. The updated vision comprises three pillars: net-zero emissions for PSEG operations, including subsidiary Public Service Electric & Gas utility operations; 100 percent greenhouse gas–free power generation; and significant contributions to regional economy-wide decarbonization.

Nuclear needed: By 2030, PSEG plans to transition its power generation portfolio to 100 percent GHG-free resources by working to preserve nuclear generation and investing in utility-scale renewables. (In 2020, PSEG announced that it had begun to explore strategic alternatives for divesting of its nonnuclear generating fleet, including 6,750 megawatts of fossil generation.) Also, to further advance economy-wide decarbonization, PSEG will continue to advocate for federal climate policy, including measures such as a national clean energy standard and a federal production tax credit for existing merchant nuclear plants “to support these critical resources and facilitate achievement of a national standard.”

In case you missed it: In October 2020, PSEG applied for a three-year extension of New Jersey’s zero-emission credit program to keep Hope Creek and Salem in operation, and in April of this year, the ZEC extension was granted by the state’s Board of Public Utilities.

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. The plants are co-located in Hancocks Bridge, N.J.

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