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New PSEG plant promises more reliable energy

By: Leah Mishkin |

Kevin Reimer, director of project for PSEG, toured the new power plant at the Sewaren Generating Station in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

“The ones being retired were in service for 70 years. This is a state-of-the-art dual fuel unit that will be efficient, has a great environmental footprint and put 550 New Jersey residents to work,” said Reimer.

At the center of the new facility is an eight million pound, 130-foot-tall heat recovery steam generator.

It took about 36 hours for the massive structure to make its way down the Hudson River.

“An eight million pound delivery,” said Reimer. “The largest domestic delivery of a piece of industrial equipment in the U.S.”

By the time the entire plant is complete, which PSEG expects to happen in the summer of 2018, it will have cost more than $600 million.

It’s an investment, according to PSEG, because it will deliver 540 megawatts of electricity to New Jersey and the region in a cleaner, more efficient and more reliable way.

“In the wintertime, the homes in the state of New Jersey, the residents get the natural gas before it’s delivered to industrial sites, so we get what they call gas curtailment. The ability to run this on dual fuel allows us to still generate electricity while the residents are getting the natural gas delivered for their home needing,” said Reimer.

Here’s how the power plant works: first, fuel is burned, powering the combustion turbine. That turns a generator to produce electricity. Waste heat from the combustion turbine is captured and routed through the heat recovery steam generator – that large piece that floated along the Hudson River. That powers the steam turbine, which generates even more electricity.

PSEG spokesperson Michael Jennings says this is an example of the company modernizing the energy infrastructure in the state.

“As we become more dependent on it, our gadgets and those sorts of things, people want to make sure that energy is reliable and that they get it when they need it,” said Jennings.

To get a better view of the new plant, project manager Courtney Stone led NJTV News to the top of the old one – a plant on-site that will be retired once the new one is operational.

“Every time we build a power plant, it’s a big feat. A lot of times we do jobs at plants on smaller projects, so it’s nice to put a plant together, get it started, and get it turned over to ops for years to come,” said Stone.

Reimer, who is in his fourth decade in this line of work, says this plant is the most advanced machine he’s ever installed.

“It’s a first of a kind,” said Reimer.