July 30, 2019 – New Jersey was hit hard by last week’s storm. Among the hardest hit in the state were JCP&L’s customers in Monmouth County. Thousands lost power; many for days.
Unfortunately, JCP&L chose to use this as an opportunity to say that “for decades they want to improve Monmouth’s electric reliability and that’s why they want to build” the Monmouth County Reliability Project (“MCRP”).
JCP&L will speak in general terms of how the MCRP will improve reliability and resiliency and robustness (an undefined term). However, a judge, after a 1 1/2 year of formal legal proceeding with expert testimonies and in a sharply worded decision, denied JCP&L's petition for MCRP. That decision was unanimously adopted by the NJ Board of Public Utilities.
What does that tell you?
MCRP is a high power (230kV) transmission project (See "Blue" in the picture above). 99% of power outages comes from down local DISTRIBUTION lines (see "Green" in the picture above). These are two different systems. We already have a main 230kV transmission line and a backup transmission line to the main transmission line. Both were "up" during all recent storms - the one this week, the winter storms last year, Sandy and Irene - more than 99.99% of the time. MCRP is a 3rd transmission line, a backup to a backup.
The power outages from the storm were primarily due to downed local distribution lines and even if the proposed high power transmission line (MCRP) was built or if 100 MCRP's were built, it would not have made a difference to the residents that lost power
Understandably, there is some public misunderstanding of our electrical system. However, it is disappointing to see that JCP&L continues to issue misleading statements to the public to take advantage of this misunderstanding. They know better! It is analogous to JCP&L saying we need to build another 4-lane highway when the problems are potholes in the local streets in our neighborhood.
Ask JCP&L specifically whether the building of MCRP would have prevented the local power outages this week or help the many residents who were without power this week. Listen very carefully to their answer - what they say and what they don't say.