Rockland Electric Files for Electric Rate Review with NJBPU
Resiliency and reliability focus of efforts to enhance service to Rockland Electric customers
To provide for the continued safe, reliable, and secure operation of its electric delivery system, Rockland Electric Company today requested a regulatory review of its electric delivery rates by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).
In today’s electric rate review filing, Rockland Electric Company reports on a series of initiatives designed to strengthen the electric service reliability and resilience for its customers while supporting a clean energy future. Among those initiatives are projects that modernize the electric system by: undergrounding more overhead electric lines to protect them from storm damage, installing smart technology to prevent storm-related outages caused by downed trees and limbs, and enhancing tree trimming to limit storm damage.
Rockland Electric Company recognizes that in the vision for a clean energy future, customers will increasingly rely on electricity to provide a wider range of services such as charging their cars or even heating their homes, all while seeking clean, renewable resources. As this dependence grows, electric service reliability and resiliency will become even more important –
highlighting the critical goals of this regulatory rate review.
Rockland Electric Company President and CEO Robert Sanchez said, “In this filing, Rockland Electric demonstrates a continued focus on the growing needs of our customers by pursuing opportunities that reduce cost, while improving service for our customers and fortifying our energy systems to make them more reliable and resilient.”
Today’s filing begins a public review process with the NJBPU, the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, and a number of other interested parties, including energy industry representatives and consumer and environmental advocacy groups. Customer input through public hearings is an essential part of the process. If approved by the NJBPU, new rates for the delivery of electric service would become effective on or about February 21, 2022.
Proposed Electric Delivery Rates
To fund these initiatives, Rockland Electric Company seeks an increase in revenues for electric delivery of $16.9 million, an increase of 7.7% on a total bill basis.
Under the proposed rates, the bill for a typical residential electric customer using a monthly average of 925 kWh would increase on average from approximately $168 to $183.80.
Electric System Resiliency Improvements
Rockland Electric Company has developed plans and designed projects that will build a stronger, more resilient energy delivery system that will be powered by clean, abundant, renewable sources. Among the proposed investments supporting these initiatives are:
Brookside Underground Project: This is a $3.5-million electric system storm hardening project designed to improve electric service reliability, strengthen electric infrastructure, and protect the electric system from damage for Rockland Electric Company customers in Allendale and Wyckoff and surrounding communities.
To reduce exposure to equipment failure, severe storms or tree contact, an express overhead electric circuit between Allendale and Wyckoff was relocated underground for over 2.25 miles.
The project consists of work along Wyckoff Avenue, Crescent Avenue and Brookside Avenue and was completed in March.
Allendale Underground Project: This is a $3.5-million project to construct a new underground system to replace the overhead double-circuit electric overhead line that extends off-road. Work here will better protect the system from storm related damages.
Godwin Avenue Project: This is a $526,000 electric system storm hardening project designed to improve electric service reliability and strengthen electric system infrastructure for customers in Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, Allendale, and surrounding areas.
The Godwin Avenue project calls for replacement of poles and the installation of 1,300 feet of new overhead, heavy-duty cable conductor along Godwin Avenue to Greenwood Avenue in Wyckoff. When complete, the project will bring another electric distribution circuit into the downtown area. As part of the project, three additional remote-operated switching devices will be installed allowing distribution system operators to identify and restore service in damaged areas more quickly.
In addition to the Brookside underground storm hardening project and the Godwin Avenue pole and wire upgrades, three other projects in this service reliability enhancement series have been completed. They include one project featuring strategic undergrounding of overhead lines totaling $1.3 million, construction of a new circuit on Old Mill Road totaling $400,000 and the installation of additional smart grid equipment totaling $500,000 on local circuits that serve Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, Allendale, and surrounding areas. The combined cost of these five projects is approximately $6 million.
Harings Corner Underground Project: One of the single largest resilience and reliability projects in the history of Rockland Electric Company was completed last year and will be the subject of a separate federal regulatory rate review because it is a transmission project.
The Harings Corner project is a $28-million, two-year, electric system improvement project that included the installation of 3.2 miles of underground electric transmission line from Old Tappan through Norwood to Closter.
The project – a significant investment in these communities – is designed to enhance electric service reliability, accommodate increased load growth, and further protect the electric system from storms for Rockland Electric Company customers in these 10 Northern valley communities:Old Tappan, Norwood, Northvale, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Harrington Park, Alpine, Haworth and Rockleigh.
In addition to undergrounding the transmission line, Rockland Electric Company performed upgrade work at both the Harings Corner and Closter substations, including the addition of new circuits and switches to provide greater operational flexibility, efficiency, and control of the electric system. A significant amount of electric distribution work also was performed.
Tree Trimming: Rockland Electric Company is proposing to implement a program that would expand the maintenance zone around certain overhead distribution facilities and circuits to offer greater protection from tree interference.
The complete rate review request is available on O&R’s website at oru.com/njtariffs.
About Rockland Electric
Rockland Electric Company is a regulated electric utility that serves 73,000 customers in parts of Bergen, Passaic, and Sussex Counties in New Jersey. Rockland Electric is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., which in turn is owned by Consolidated Edison, Inc.
Rockland Electric Company, serves the following communities in New Jersey:
Allendale, Alpine, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Franklin Lakes, Harrington Park, Mahwah, Haworth (part), Montague, Montvale, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan (part), Ramsey, Ringwood, Rivervale (part), Rockleigh, Saddle River (part), Upper Saddle River, Wantage (part), Vernon (part), West Milford (part), Wyckoff (part).