Atlantic City Electric recently announced it completed two major Cape May County reliability improvement projects, enhancing energy service for tens of thousands of its customers in the area.
As part of Atlantic City Electric’s broader strategic effort to build a smarter, stronger and cleaner energy grid across South Jersey, these projects are critical in fortifying the local energy grid against more powerful storms and improving the reliability of electric service for customers and visitors to the region.
The Cape May Substation Reliability Project upgraded the company’s existing substation in Cape May with more modern equipment and increased capabilities. As part of the 20-month, $46 million project, a second transformer was added to meet the growing energy needs of customers in the area, with particular focus on the summer months, when residents and visitors push energy demands to the highest levels. The new, state-of-the-art facility is better equipped to prevent animal intrusion and reduce the impacts of more extreme weather by raising the facility several feet above flood zone, helping prevent storm-related outages and adding modern substation controls with remote operating capabilities during a storm. The project, which benefits more than 7,100 customers in Cape May, also further improves energy service quality for local customers by creating a more reliable and resilient connection between the regional transmission system and the local energy grid.
The Upper Township to Dennis Township Reliability Project enhances energy service reliability for more than 30,000 customers across Cape May County with the replacement of existing lattice transmission tower structures with 89 new, stronger steel transmission poles that can withstand more extreme weather and reduce the impacts of severe storms. Additional upgrades included installing new, stronger aerial cable, while also increasing the line voltage to provide more power carrying capacity with larger, more modern conductors, to create a stronger and more resilient energy grid. Specially equipped helicopters were used to move equipment, install new transmission poles and associated energy infrastructure along approximately 10 miles of the existing transmission line between Beesley’s Point in Upper Township and Ocean View in Dennis Township, with a strong focus on minimizing any impacts to environmentally sensitive areas. Atlantic City Electric successfully used this innovative and environmentally conscious approach for other reliability improvement projects in the company’s service area where energy infrastructure access was limited.
“We have seen the devastation and impact that extreme weather events can have in our communities and understand the challenges customers face when outages occur,” Tamla Olivier, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric, said. “Projects like these are further strengthening the local energy grid against the increasing frequency of major storms, while contributing to record reliability for our customers over the past several years. We appreciate the strong collaboration with our surrounding communities and thank our crews, contractors and other partners who worked tirelessly on these projects to benefit our customers.”
Just last year, Atlantic City Electric customers experienced the lowest frequency of electric outages ever, thanks to the company’s work reinforcing the local energy grid, adding new technology and smart devices, and targeting increased reliability and resiliency projects. Modernizing and upgrading the grid against increasingly severe weather helped decrease the frequency of outages in 2022, from the previous record low in 2021, by more than 6%, and the company’s ongoing investments in the local energy grid reduced the frequency of electric outages by more than 75% since 2012 for Atlantic City Electric customers.
In 2023, Atlantic City Electric is performing work on numerous other major projects as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to modernize the local energy grid. Some of these projects include:
- Beach Haven Battery Storage Project: Installing 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 in Beach Haven and Long Beach Island during times when 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: Rebuilding 3.5 miles of transmission line, which primarily runs along Route 130 between Penns Grove and Pennsville, to enhance the quality of energy service for thousands of local customers.
- Wind Port Power Connect Project: Upgrading approximately 11 miles of transmission line with new, stronger steel utility poles and more modern equipment to serve the New Jersey Wind Port, a South Jersey facility that is essential for the staging, assembling and manufacturing activities for offshore wind projects along the East Coast.