With its eye on clean energy alternatives, like offshore wind, one of the state’s largest utility companies announced plans to sell off the remainder of its New York City-area fossil fuel plants through early next year.
Public Service Enterprise Group said Aug. 12 it will make $1.92 billion off this deal with private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners, under which the utility giant will part ways with 13 fossil fuel facilities across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and New York that produce 6,750 megawatts of electricity.
Combined with PSEG’s sale of Solar Source in June, the deal is expected to bring in $2.15 billion for the Newark-based provider, at a time that it looks “toward a clean energy infrastructure,” said PSEG Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo.
It is not immediately clear what ArcLight will do with the plants once it acquires them, sometime in late 2021 or early 2022 once the deal is complete. ArcLight officials were not immediately available for comment.
In April, it secured a second round of $300 million in state subsidies, which the company argued were vital to keep afloat its three New Jersey nuclear plants. The subsidies were highly controversial, nonetheless, and environmental groups questioned their benefit. PSEG officials however touted the plants’ carbon-neutral nature, as opposed to fossil fuel facilities.
“PSEG already benefits from New Jersey’s robust policy support for carbon-free electricity, ensuring the viability and growth of nuclear, solar and offshore wind generation,” Izzo added in an online blog post.
The Murphy administration is aiming for the state to have a 7.5-gigawatt offshore wind capacity by 2035, which it and environmentalists argue is key to reducing the state’s carbon footprint.
PSEG’s electric car plans, which the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved in January, call for 40,000 chargers in people’s homes, another 3,500 chargers in commercial locations, and 1,000 fast-charging stations at 300 sites off major roadways.
State officials also approved Atlantic City Electric’s $21 million plans in February to install 1,100 public charging stations, provide rebates for residential charging stations, and for stations at employee parking lots and commercial vehicle fleets.
Those are part of the state’s efforts to put 330,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2025, with an infrastructure to support them.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has shown increasing interest in several clean energy efforts, including to build a capacity for 30 gigawatts by 2030, and to have half of the United States’ new auto fleet comprised of electric cars by that same year.