August 31, 2009

Energy demand drops, plan is obsolete

To the Editor:

Energy demand has been dropping like a rock. The alleged "need" for a proposed Public Service Electric & Gas power line simply doesn't add up. An Aug 12 article in the Wall Street
Journal shows that demand has dropped at an accelerated rate of 4.4 percent for the first six months of 2009.

Demand over the past two years has dropped 10 percent, which is contrary to the projected 1.6 percent annual growth that deemed the project necessary in the first place. There are a multitude of better solutions that would benefit ratepayers, our environment, and our communities along the chosen route. Running a 500KV line "extension cord" from coal fired plants in West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Roseland and on to New York City is not in the interests of New Jersey citizens or our environment.

Demand side management is one way to deal with peak demand, the high energy usage time in summer months. Peak demand time is only 50 hours out of the year, and peak demand use is when lines can be potentially overloaded. New Jersey's offshore wind project and more solar programs are also moving forward, and the technology behind solar power generation is improving. Solar is perfect for peak demand needs.

PSE&G's plan to use towers nearly 200 feet high would devastate our rural areas and would have a very real and substantial negative impact on tourism and other businesses.