The issue of creating a reliable source of clean, efficient power in South Jersey in the coming years has arguably become more relevant than ever. The Southern New Jersey Development Council promotes the economic growth of the southern eight counties, doing our best to represent the interests of the public and private sectors to help solve issues like this one.
The SNJDC has provided testimony to the Pinelands Commission supporting South Jersey Gas Co.’s proposed construction of a pipeline to provide natural gas service to the B.L. England electric generation facility in Cape May County. The pipeline would convert the B.L. England plant, which is owned by Rockland Capital Cape May LLC, from a coal- and oil-fired electricity generator to a natural gas-fired generator.
The creation of this pipeline could solve the problems of creating a reliable, clean energy source for South Jersey as well as providing a stimulus to the overall growth of the region.
Economic development incentives initially available to Camden are now available to help Atlantic City diversify its economy. Other incentives for Atlantic and Cape May counties are currently being considered by the Legislature.
Towns and counties are investing in rehabilitating their public facilities; higher education institutions are expanding their campuses; school districts are embarking on school renovation or new school construction projects – hiring more employees and leading to the development of much-needed residential construction. The energy needed to meet the demand of this rapidly growing region is paramount.
The 2019 retirement of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generation Station, which supplies the Pinelands and the southeastern region of the state, has the potential to create a huge energy reliability issue for the southern part of the state that can only be satisfied by the repurposing of the B.L. England plant. In reviewing the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, supported by the governor, the state Department of Environmental Protection found that a repowering of the current coal/oil-fired B.L. England plant would fulfill a goal of the Energy Master Plan by ensuring gas and electric reliability in Cape May and Atlantic counties, and would reduce pollutants within the Pinelands and surrounding communities, effectively creating the reliable, clean energy source South Jersey needs to accommodate its rapid growth.
The SNJDC gives the construction of this pipeline its full support, and believes that it has the potential to meet the energy needs of a rapidly growing region, while supplying reliable clean energy to the southern counties. We are hopeful that in reading this letter you will share the same enthusiasm we do for the construction of this pipeline.
Southern New Jersey Development Council, President
Originally published here.