JCP&L Plans For Cable Under Bay

The Barnegat Bay (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  BERKELEY – A representative of Jersey Central Power and Light told officials that one of the projects coming with a proposed rate hike will be an underwater cable from the mainland to the barrier island.

  Ken Brown, external affairs liaison for JCP&L, serves as the face of the company to municipalities. He said during a recent Township Council meeting that one of the improvements is the replacement of a cable that will run 8,000 feet from Pier Avenue in Good Luck Point to 13th Avenue in South Seaside Park. It’s just in the conceptual phase right now but could start in fall of this year.

  There are existing lines right now, but they are more than 50 years old and not currently in use, he said.

  Brown said that even if JCP&L’s request for a rate increase is approved, the company would still have the lowest rate in the state. Like other budgets, the power company is impacted by inflation and the need to maintain a quality workforce. The payments also help provide a discount to seniors.

  After the meeting, JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig told The Berkeley Times that the senior discount is something that’s going to roll out later and offers a reduction on distribution charges.

  Every bill has a charge for the distribution – which is for the power lines – and a different charge for the electricity itself. This is significant because some programs allow you to buy your electricity from another provider on the grid, and have it delivered by JCP&L’s lines. A 10-megawatt solar farm is being built on the township’s former landfill behind the Public Works building on Pinewald-Keswick Road. This will allow residents to opt in to receiving solar power. The rest would go into the grid. It is expected to save customers money as well as save the town money because the company performing the work will also cap the landfill for free.

  Brown, the JCP&L liaison, likely came to the council meeting in response to the Township Council’s resolution opposing a proposed 7.5% rate hike. The State Board of Public Utilities would have to approve the rate request.

  The increase would amount to an $8.45 monthly increase for the average residential customer.

  The last rate change was in 2020, the company said. Since then, there has been more than $794 million in investments to modernize and strengthen its electric grid. Improvements were made to sense outages and automatically transfer customers to an adjacent circuit. There were also upgrades to company substations in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties that provide for additional capacity and redundancy and expansion of a substation to accommodate significant growth in electric demand in Ocean County.