Atlantic City Electric recently received approval for its Powering the Future program, a $93.1 million portfolio of projects the company will perform during the next four years to further modernize and enhance the local energy grid and advance new clean energy opportunities across South Jersey.
The approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities allows for the acceleration of 22 targeted projects that are essential to expanding the local energy grid’s ability to support the interconnection of more solar and other clean energy technologies, improve system reliability and leverage more modern, smart technologies to help make the grid stronger and more resilient against increasingly impactful storms.
A.C. Electric officials say Powering the Future will continue the company’s effort in modernizing the local energy grid, further enhancing service reliability for hundreds of thousands of customers and supporting the growth of distributed energy resources like solar.
Atlantic City Electric has helped nearly 50,000 customers connect their solar PV systems, and Powering the Future will broaden this effort. This program will help create new opportunities for residential solar interconnection in most areas by giving Atlantic City Electric the ability to safely and reliably accommodate approximately 16,000 additional residential solar arrays.
Atlantic City Electric also is performing additional upgrades outside of Powering the Future that will expand solar interconnection access to more than 50,000 customers.
“We appreciate the collaborative process with the many stakeholders who helped bring this program to fruition for our customers,” Tamla Olivier, chief operating officer for Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric, said.
“From projects that will build more resiliency and reliability into the electric grid, to upgrading our equipment to allow more customers to safely and reliably interconnect their solar, this program targets several areas with respect to the impacts of climate change. We look forward to enhancing the platform for bringing more clean energy to the grid.”
Powering the Future includes four specific categories of projects. These include:
- Solar/Distributed Energy Resource enablement: Further expands the ability of the local energy grid to incorporate the increasing interconnection of clean energy technologies, including local solar and other distributed energy resources that will help achieve the state’s clean energy and climate goals.
- Targeted reliability improvements: Targeted work on the local energy grid focused on enhancing reliability where power outages are occurring more frequently or where system redundancy can help reduce the impacts of outages when they do occur.
- Smart technology upgrades: Further enhances the communications network and supporting devices that are used to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
- Substation improvements: Upgrades various substations throughout the company’s service area to enhance customer reliability by modernizing infrastructure and other critical equipment, helping fortify these substations against more frequent and extreme weather events.
Powering the Future will build on Atlantic City Electric’s efforts over the past several years in making the local energy grid smarter, stronger and cleaner. This work is having a significant and noticeable impact on the reliability of the service provided to local customers and communities. Just last year, Atlantic City Electric customers experienced the most reliable service ever, with the lowest frequency of electric outages in the company’s history.
Ongoing investments in the local energy grid have reduced the frequency of electric outages by more than 75% since 2012 for Atlantic City Electric customers, despite the increasing frequency and severity of storms.
Atlantic City Electric will begin executing Powering the Future in July. To recover costs for Powering the Future, gradual rate changes will occur over four years between 2023 and 2027. The total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 680 kilowatt hours will increase by approximately $1.22, or 0.84%, over the four-year period.