MAYS LANDING – Atlantic City Electric customers in southern New Jersey experienced the lowest frequency of power outages on record in 2021, the result of the company’s ongoing work to modernize and upgrade the local energy grid against increasingly violent weather conditions. Outage frequency in 2021 is down more than 14% from the previous high in 2020, and has improved by 60% over the past 10 years.
Severe weather events are becoming more frequent due to climate change, more renewable energy such as solar power is coming onto the grid, and more people are starting to drive electric vehicles, utilities, like Atlantic City, according to a statement. Electric, must continue to invest in the grid to help ensure customers continue to receive reliable energy service and to attract clean energy business, investment and jobs to the region.
“We are more committed than ever to providing the best possible service to our customers,” said Tamla Olivier, senior vice president and COO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “Achieving record reliability for a second consecutive year is a testament to the continuous work and dedication of our employees year after year to provide our customers with safe and reliable energy service. We will continue to modernize the energy network throughout our service area through strategic infrastructure upgrades that will help strengthen the system against the elements and promote the development and interconnection of clean energy resources.
Every day, Atlantic City Electric performs work in South Jersey as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to further improve reliability for customers. This work includes the inspection of existing infrastructure, the pruning of trees that could impact the system, the construction of new substations and new underground equipment, the reinforcement of transmission and distribution lines and the installation stronger, tree-resistant aerial cables. Atlantic City Electric also installs innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment, such as smart switches and reclosers, which can automatically detect problems and restore service faster by automatically isolating damage. These technologies have been a major driver in the continued reduction of outages for customers.
In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report outlining the widespread, rapid, and intensified effects of the climate crisis due to fossil fuel emissions. The report highlighted the need for the power grid to be more resilient, as it is often the last line of defense for residents and businesses.
Atlantic City Electric continues to invest in projects and initiatives to strengthen the local energy grid, while providing customers with the information they need to make informed choices about their energy use. The company’s Smart Energy Network project includes the installation of more than 560,000 smart meters and associated equipment over the next three years to support the ongoing effort to provide customers with a world-class experience.
On the local energy grid, Atlantic City Electric has completed several key projects over the past few years, helping to modernize the grid and improve reliability for customers. In 2021, Atlantic City Electric completed work on several projects to further improve service reliability. These projects include:
- Atlantic City/Brigantine Community Reliability Project – Upgrade an existing substation and rebuild two critical transmission lines between Atlantic City and Brigantine to strengthen local power infrastructure against more extreme weather conditions and improve reliability for local customers. Construction is underway and expected to be completed by May 2022.
- Atlantic to Ocean Counties Reliability Project – Rebuilt 15 miles of critical transmission line through Port Republic, Bass River Township and Little Egg Harbor Township to improve reliability for thousands of customers.
- Middle Township at Wildwoods Reliability Project – Upgrading 4 miles of critical transmission line between Middle Township and Wildwoods to strengthen the local power grid against more extreme weather conditions.
- PowerAhead Network Resilience Initiative – Carry out strategic reliability improvement projects in parts of the company’s service area to modernize and improve energy infrastructure in areas that have experienced outages during severe storms.
In 2022, Atlantic City Electric is performing work on many more major projects as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to modernize the local energy grid. Some of these projects include:
- Cape May Substation Reliability Project – Upgrading of an existing substation on Elmira Street in Cape May. This substation serves over 7,100 customers and is critical to customer reliability in Cape May, West Cape May and Cape May Point.
- Battery Storage Project in Beach Haven – Installation of a battery storage system at an existing substation on Second Street in Beach Haven to improve the quality of energy service for thousands of customers and seasonal visitors to Beach Haven and Long Beach Island during periods where customer demand for energy is highest.
- Greater Gloucester and Camden Counties Reliability Project – Upgrading 10 miles of transmission line between Monroe Township and Pine Hill to improve reliability for 13,600 customers in Gloucester and Camden counties.
- Salem County Reliability Project – Reconstruction of 3.5 miles of transmission line, which mainly runs along Highway 130 between Penns Grove and Pennsville, to improve the quality of energy service for thousands of local customers.
- Washington/Gloucester Reliability Project – Retrofit of an existing substation to improve reliability of energy service for over 10,000 existing customers in the Township of Washington and approximately 1,300 customers in the Township of Gloucester.
For more information on reliability improvement projects in South Jersey, visit atlanticcityelectric.com/Reliability.