Atlantic City Electric unveils Powering the Future initiative

Matthew Fazelpoor//November 3, 2022

Atlantic City Electric unveils Powering the Future initiative

Matthew Fazelpoor//November 3, 2022

This week, Atlantic City Electric proposed a new portfolio of projects called Powering the Future, which it filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).

The Exelon Corp. subsidiary says the proposal expands on its support of the state’s clean energy and climate goals while furthering its commitment to delivering safe and reliable service for its customers and communities.

Powering the Future outlines 80 interrelated 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 modern technologies to protect the grid against more damaging storms.

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“We are leading the energy transformation across South Jersey, and these 80 projects are central to that effort,” said Tamla Olivier, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Pepco Holdings, which includes Atlantic City Electric. “Powering the Future will broaden the ability for customers to interconnect their solar with the local energy grid while fortifying the grid and addressing specific pockets in our communities where the reliability of service is not meeting our expectation. This work is essential, and we will execute it while keeping bills as low as possible and helping every customer meet their energy needs.”

The company says the initiative will accelerate these individual projects to modernize South Jersey’s energy grid and will help create new opportunities for residential solar interconnection by giving Atlantic City Electric the ability to safely and reliably accommodate approximately 50,000 additional residential solar arrays — more than double the number of local solar installations across the company’s service area.

Powering the Future is broken down into five specific categories:

  • Solar/Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Enablement
  • Targeted Reliability Improvements
  • Smart Technology Updates
  • Infrastructure Renewal
  • Substation Improvements

The projects will lead to economic development and job creation in the local workforce, with estimates that Powering the Future will sustain more than 600 full-time jobs within Atlantic City Electric’s workforce, as well as with its contractors and suppliers. The plan is also expected to create opportunities for graduates of the company’s South Jersey Utility Training Program and the Atlantic City Infrastructure Program.

“We appreciate Atlantic City Electric’s efforts to create career opportunities for local residents and to support sustained economic growth through workforce development initiatives, reliability improvement projects and community investment,” said Jerry Keenan, president of the NJ Alliance for Action. “Powering the Future is another step toward South Jersey’s energy infrastructure while also aligning with our efforts to improve the state’s economy, environment and quality of life.”

Based on the filing with the NJBPU, Atlantic City Electric is expected to begin executing Powering the Future in mid-2023 with the company saying gradual rate increases would occur over four years between 2023 and 2027, pending approval from the state. The total monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 680 kilowatt hours would increase by $5.01 or 3.55% over the four-year period.

“Atlantic City Electric is proposing smart investments for a clean energy future. This innovative plan will help to modernize the grid in the South Jersey region, enable more distributed energy resources to connect to the grid in ACE’s service territory, and open more circuits for both solar and storage projects,” said Scott Elias, director of state affairs, Mid-Atlantic, at the Solar Energy Industries Association. “If New Jersey is to meet its ambitious goal of 100% clean energy in the not-too-distant future, we need comprehensive strategies like this one to get the state there.”