Caring for Air, Land and Water
PSEG's new gas-fired plants
Since 2000, PSEG has brought on-line six highly efficient, clean-burning, natural gas-fired plants – one in New York, two in Texas and three in California. In total, they generate approximately 3,000 megawatts of electricity. PSEG's California plants were among the first simple-cycle combustion turbines to incorporate selective catalytic reduction and oxidation catalyst technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions.
Investing for cleaner air
Since 1990, PSEG Power has invested more than $3 billion to replace inefficient older generating units and upgrade existing facilities in New Jersey and other states. PSEG Power added five gas-fired, simple-cycle peaking units to our Burlington Generating Station in New Jersey and added a similar unit at the Kearny Generating Station, also in New Jersey. By relying on clean fuels and highly efficient new generation sources, PSEG Power has dramatically lowered its emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulates — substances that cause smog, acid rain and contribute to human health problems. With these changes, PSEG Power’s diverse generation fleet is among the cleanest in the nation.
Controlling coal emissions
PSEG has invested in state-of-the-art technology and is taking other steps to reduce the emissions from burning coal.
- PSEG cut nitrogen oxides emission in half since 2000 by installing scrubbers (selective catalytic reduction systems) at the Mercer Generating Station in Hamilton Township, N.J., and through other steps.
- PSEG reduced the sulfur dioxide emission rate from its fossil fleet by 22 percent by switching to ultra-low sulfur coal at certain facilities and by re-powering our fossil generation fleet.
- PSEG lowered emission of particulates (soot) and mercury.
- By 2010, PSEG will install another $1 billion worth of advanced emission controls at the Hudson, Mercer and Bridgeport Harbor generation stations to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulates and mercury emissions from these coal-fired plants by 2010.
Stretching for more than a thousand miles, PSE&G’s overhead electric transmission lines traverse 15,000 acres of forests, wetlands, meadows and farmland. PSE&G manages vegetation to maintain system reliability while preserving ecologically valuable habitats, such as freshwater wetlands and streams.
In 2003, PSE&G surveyed the land under all 4,900 right-of-way tower spans and, together with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, identified where endangered or threatened species live. This inventory guides PSE&G contractors as they work.
PSE&G is also working with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, NJDEP, New Jersey Pinelands Commission and other utilities to develop a regional plan to manage overhead electric transmission rights-of-way in the sensitive New Jersey Pinelands habitat.
For its work in preserving the endangered golden winged warbler, PSEG received the Corporate Leadership Award from New Jersey Audubon Society in 2006. Read more in the 2007 PSEG Environmental Leadership Report.
A smart way to grow -- Brownfield redevelopment
PSEG helps preserve New Jersey’s precious open space by supporting the state’s Smart Growth plan. PSEG works to restore existing urban brownfields – contaminated or unused lots -- to productive use, which can deter new development away from open space.
Under PSEG’s new Brownfields Initiative, teams of PSEG development and environmental experts help municipalities assess the redevelopment potential of brownfields before they make significant investments in these properties. With this professional assistance, communities now have a cost-effective way to assess properties and tap into New Jersey’s $5 million Fund for Community Economic Development.
Leveraging New Jersey’s prime location as a transportation hub, PSEG is supporting the Portfields Initiative of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This effort encourages national logistics firms to locate in targeted areas near the Ports of Elizabeth and Newark. Underutilized and brownfield properties are being transformed into modern industrial parks, preserving open space and boosting local tax revenues.
Healing urban areas
Nearly two decades ago, PSE&G was among the first utilities to aggressively begin remediating decommissioned manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites that operated in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As of 2007, PSE&G has spent more than $400 million to remove the wastes left behind from these sites, some of which are now used as parks, libraries, and roads. PSE&G consistently returns unused or contaminated sites to productive use, helping communities remain economically vibrant, healthy places to live and work.
Following remediation, a former PSE&G manufactured gas site in the heart of downtown Princeton now welcomes shoppers, library patrons, diners and homeowners. Read more in the 2007 PSEG Environmental Leadership Report.
PSEG, along with 24 other utilities, funded tree planting and habitat restoration in critical habitats in the Lower Mississippi River Valley through PowerTree Carbon Company. Besides helping to restore habitat, protect soil and water quality, and restore bottomlands hardwood on marginal agricultural land, these plantings will help manage carbon dioxide. By reforesting 3,6000 acres, PowerTree Carbon Company will sequester over 1.6 million tons of CO2 over the next century.
Worldwide, PSEG has supported the planting of more than 3 million trees in four countries through The International Small Group and Tree Planting (TIST) program of the Clean Air Action Corporation. Subsistence farmers in East Africa and India use tree planting and sustainable agriculture techniques to improve their lives while addressing global warming. PSEG’s investment will help capture about 3 million tons of CO2 over the next 30 years.
With PSEG funding, African farmers plant trees to help meet their needs, protect the land from erosion and combat global warming. Read more in the 2007 PSEG Environmental Leadership Report.
PSEG's Estuary Enhancement Program
PSEG’s extensive Estuary Enhancement Program (EEP) has restored and protected approximately 32 square miles of coastal wetlands and adjoining uplands along the Delaware Bay Shore. The largest privately funded wetlands restoration and improvement program in the country, PSEG’s EEP encompasses a total area larger than 15,000 football fields.
PSEG has reversed much of the ecological damage to valuable tidal marshes caused by salt hay farming over the past 200 years and by invasive, non-native plants. The natural vegetation so vital to the food chain has been brought back.
Protected in perpetuity, these restored tidal lands will remain for centuries to come, cleaning the water, supporting marine life and buffering the land from flooding.
Protecting the Hackensack eco-system
On their own time, a team of PSEG employees work to protect and restore the delicate eco-system of the Hackensack River watershed and surrounding areas. Over the past 14 years, the team has completed 27 projects and won numerous awards. Employees have built dozens of bat houses, 12 osprey towers, 30 wildlife rehabilitation and soft-release cages, over 100 bird houses, and more than 100 wood duck boxes. The team has participated in river cleanup projects and installed educational signs along the Hackensack River in Teaneck, among other projects.
Most recently, the employee volunteers received the 2008 Ducks Unlimited Corporate Citizenship Award, 2008 Friends of Liberty State Park Award and 2007 New Jersey Clean Communities Council Business Partnership Award.
Restoring coastal wetlands
PSEG is restoring other wetlands through its leadership role in the Coastal America Foundation and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership. Through this national program, corporations fund wetlands restoration projects in concert with both federal and state agencies.
Using reclaimed water
Where possible, PSEG reduces its use of fresh water for cooling by relying on treated effluent from nearby publicly owned water treatment works.
Our Bergen and Linden Generating Stations in New Jersey all rely on reclaimed water.
By cooling its Bergen plant with reclaimed water, PSEG has reduced its impact on the Hackensack River watershed. This troubled ecosystem is showing signs of recovery. Osprey, along with other native birds, fish and animals are returning to the Meadowlands tidal estuary, despite its location in a densely populated, heavily industrial area. Improved water quality is a primary reason for this resurgence.
Building low- and “zero-liquid discharge” plants
Generating electricity requires tremendous volumes of water for cooling, but PSEG has found ways to cut its water use. Six of our plants use closed-loop cooling systems which greatly reduce water intake and discharge by repeatedly recycling water instead of releasing it immediately into local waterways. These plants include our Bethlehem Energy Center near Albany New York, our Guadalupe and Odessa-Ector plants in Texas, our Bergen and Linden plants in Northern New Jersey, and our Hope Creek nuclear generating station in Lower Alloways Creek, N.J. In fact, our Guadalupe power plant is a “zero-liquid discharge” plant.
Dealing with legacy issues
Since PSEG was founded over 103 years ago, much has changed. Industry standards and environmental regulations now shun practices which were once common. Today, PSEG is addressing the legacy of its own past activities as well as those of companies and facilities it acquired over the years. PSEG, along with thousands of others, share a responsibility for historical waste discharges into waterways. PSEG has stepped up to the plate and is working with the USEPA and others to find solutions to this situation.
2012 PSEG Sustainability Report
Sustainability is an important part of who we are at PSEG.