Trenton – Today the Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced two bills that would take important steps toward modernizing the State’s electrical grid.
“Both of these bills would facilitate critical and needed upgrades to the State’s electrical grid,” said Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset), chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “We want to help our residents have the best service possible, and with these bills in place, customers will have a more reliable electrical grid as well as expanded options for backup power sources in the event severe weather causes a blackout.”
The first bill, S-2973, sponsored by Senator Smith and Senator Linda Greenstein, would require electric public utilities to implement integrated distribution plans approved by Board of Public Utilities. Under the bill, integrated distribution plans would identify necessary investments, interconnection processes and methodology changes that utilities would be required to implement to improve grid resilience, increase deployment of distributed electric power sources and realize net benefits for all customers.
“Integrated distribution plans proactively plan for upgrades to the electrical grid, which in turn satisfy customer service expectations, guide the deployment of distributed energy resources and ensure that long-term infrastructure investments will continue to serve customers’ needs,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “An integrated electrical grid provides for greater system efficiency and utilization of assets, and by requiring electric utilities to implement integrated distribution plans, the state can accelerate the modernizations of New Jersey’s electrical distribution system, which will benefit all ratepayers.”
The second bill, S-3092, sponsored by Senator Smith and Senator Richard Codey, would authorize the installation and operation of meter collar adapters on residential electric meters.
“Unfortunately during a big storm, it is not uncommon for New Jersey residents to lose power, which can cause an array of issues,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “Currently, the ability to isolate a customer’s electrical load from the grid to access home-generated backup power during a blackout is not widely accessible and can be costly for residents. Meter collar adapters provide this functionality, allowing customers to access backup power when needed. With this bill in place, this technology would be more affordable and accessible, providing residents with better protection from the risk of losing power due to severe weather events.”
The bills were both released from the committee by a vote of 5-0.