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Industry News

PSEG Files Application to Extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for New Jersey's Carbon-Free Nuclear Power Facilities

LCG, October 2, 2020--PSEG yesterday filed applications to extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County in order to preserve New Jersey's largest carbon-free source of electricity and to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goal of 100 percent carbon-free energy supply by 2050. PSEG's carbon-free nuclear plants today provide nearly 40 percent of New Jersey's energy supply and deliver more than 90 percent of all of the state's carbon-free energy.

PSEG's senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship stated, "Nuclear energy already is New Jersey's largest source of carbon-free electricity. No other energy source currently comes close. We want to continue to partner with Gov. Phil Murphy and other state leaders to ensure that New Jersey's nuclear plants are able to continue generating electricity - while producing zero carbon emissions - long into the future."

PSEG's applications seek an extension of ZECs that were established last April, when the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) issued an order determining that PSEG's Hope Creek, Salem 1 and Salem 2 nuclear plants were eligible to receive ZECs from April 18, 2019, through May 31, 2022. PSEG now is applying for a three-year extension of the ZEC program.

Power markets have deteriorated significantly since the ZECs were approved, and the financial needs of New Jersey's nuclear plants have continued to grow, according to PSEG. Low natural gas prices, minimal electric load growth and other factors have caused nuclear plants to struggle economically across the country. Without the ZECs and Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power, fossil generation could increase significantly and cause an immediate increase in carbon emissions, as well as reduce air quality. Moreover, the nuclear generation provides fuel diversity to the region.

The Salem Nuclear Generating Station has a total capacity of 2,285 MW, with PSEG's portion 1,311 MW (and Exelon owning the remaining portion). The operating license has been renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) until 2040. The Hope Creek facility is located on the same 740-acre site and has a capacity of 1,173 MW. The Hope Creek license has been renewed until 2046.

PSEG's senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship stated, "New Jersey's ongoing support for nuclear energy is a wise investment in clean energy. At PSEG, we're committed to supporting our state and doing what is in the best interests of our customers and communities. Working together, we can ensure the state is able to produce the electricity we need to power our homes and businesses without producing the carbon emissions we don't."
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