A view of the North Jersey Coast Line northward from the Red Bank station in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Jersey Central Power & Light is reviving a plan, mothballed 25 years ago, for a high-voltage electricity transmission line to Red Bank, according to a report by NJ.com.
The 230-kilovolt transmission line would run along the existing New Jersey Transit right-of-way between existing substations in Aberdeen and Red Bank. And it’s needed to keep pace with demand for electricity, the company says.
“Just as we’ve come to expect more bandwith [sic] and faster speeds from our internet providers, we are also expecting more from our electric companies,” JCP&L vice president of operations Tony Hurley said in an online statement.
The company, now owned by First Energy Corporation, based in Ohio, also says the additional transmission capacity will help reduce the length and frequency of service disruptions.
Dubbed the “Monmouth County Reliability Project,” the plan requires approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Department of Environmental Protection.
Except in price, up from $14.5 million to $75 million, the proposal is little different from those proposed decades ago, NJ. com reported.
From the article:
The utility first proposed the transmission project back in the late 1980s, and quickly became mired in an escalating legal battle with the townships of Middletown, Hazlet and Holmdel. The project became the target of strong opposition led by a citizens group known as Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE)—in an emotionally charged debate over the impact the line might have on property values, as well as fears over whether the electromagnetic fields emitted by all power lines posed a serious health threat to those who live nearby.
JCP&L, in an effort to defuse the controversy, later proposed installing a number of new low-power distribution lines through the region. But in 1990, the utility abruptly announced it would defer the project, citing changing economics and slowing growth in customer demand—not the legal battles over its construction.
Acknowledging the 25-year-old memories of that opposition, utility officials said they intend to schedule informational meetings in neighborhoods near the route of the proposed project, and have set up a website at monmouthreliability.com to provide more details to the public.