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NEWARK-PSEG Power, the power-generation arm of utility giant Public Service Enterprise Group, is planning to add a new natural gas-fired power plant at its generating station in Ridgefield, NJ, a project that would continue the redevelopment and expansion of both that site and PSEG’s overall system. The 550-megawatt plant is expected to be on line in 2004 and would raise to more than 3,200 MW the amount of capacity the utility has under development.

“The combined impact of this and our other projects in the region will increase the power supply and enhance the reliability in both New Jersey and the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland [PJM] Independent System,” according to Tom Smith, PSEG Power’s executive vice president for development and operations. “Most of the capacity additions will be used to improve our ability to meet our commitments to New Jersey and PJM.”

Besides the Ridgefield project, PSEG Power is currently building a 1,186-MW combined-cycle plant in Linden, NJ, and a 175-MW simple-cycle plant in Kearny, NJ. In the process, the utility is planning on retiring about 900 MW of obsolete, inefficient capacity.

“We are also looking at the possibility of building a generator lead that would transmit power from the Ridgefield station to the Con Edison substation on West 49th Street in Manhattan,” according to Smith. “The generator lead would allow us to provide electric energy to New York City by 2003. We are in discussions with potential buyers of energy.”

Coupled with PSEG Power’s earlier announced power generation projects, the latest plans will raise the company’s recent investment to more than $1.4 billion. The utility is also doing projects connected to the PJM network and the New York Independent System, and last month began building an 850-MW plant in Waterford, OH and a 1,150-MW facility in Lawrenceburg, IN.

Overall, PSEG Power currently has more than 17,000 MW of electric generating capacity in operation, under construction or planned. By volume, it’s the 15th largest energy trading business in the US. Its sister companies offer a variety of unbundled energy services as well as economic development and real estate services.

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