Requires Large Scale Electrical Infrastructure Projects Be 300 Feet from Residentially Zoned Areas
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset) that would prohibit electric public utilities from expanding a switching station by installing one or more 500-kilovolt capacitor banks within 300 feet of the property line of any area zoned for residential use was unanimously passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.
“People who purchase a home to live, raise a family, or retire in should be protected from having a large energy facility expanded right next door,” Bateman stated. “This is a common-sense bill that will protect the value, privacy and quality of life in homes across the state.”
The impetus for this legislation was a proposal by PSEG to expand a switching station near Route 202 in Branchburg to include two new 500-kilovolt capacitor banks, a host of monopoles and three A-frame structures, two of which would reach as high as 140 feet. Because the land is zoned residential, Branchburg officials could reject the proposal. However, PSEG could appeal the decision to the state Board of Public Utilities who has the authority to override Branchburg’s decision.
“I understand the need to maintain reliable electric service, ” Bateman continued, “but it should not come at such a high expense to a select few homeowners. How would you feel if it were your home that was being negatively affected? There are plenty of other locations in the state that are not deemed residential where PSEG could build or expand these units and I am hopeful that will be the end result. In the meantime, I will continue to aggressively advocate for this bill to be passed by the full Legislature and signed into law.”