NJBPU approves Second Phase of South Jersey Gas’ Storm Hardening and Reliability Program
FOLSOM, N.J., May 22, 2018 – The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today approved a second phase of the South Jersey Gas Storm Hardening and Reliability Program (SHARP II). The program enhances and protects infrastructure in advance of future significant weather events and is a continuation of the successful infrastructure investment program completed last summer.
“This program supports South Jersey Gas’ continued commitment to the safety, reliability and resiliency of our natural gas distribution system for our customers,” said Dave Robbins, president of South Jersey Gas. “The extension of SHARP will allow us to modernize and enhance our infrastructure and better prepare for major weather events, ensuring safety and system reliability both during and after a storm occurs.”
Under the three-year program, South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of SJI (NYSE:SJI), will invest approximately $100 million to complete four system enhancement projects in towns along the coast of Southern New Jersey. These enhancements include the installation of Excess Flow Valves (EFVs) – mechanical safety devices designed to shut off the flow of natural gas automatically in the event of a service line break – and three projects designed to improve reliability, including the Absecon Island loop, the Ocean City loop and the Brigantine Bridge project.
In response to the devastating impacts of Super Storm Sandy, South Jersey Gas worked under the leadership of the NJBPU to implement the first phase of SHARP with a focus on upgrading low-pressure mains and services to high-pressure. The program, which ran from July 2014 to August 2017, reduced system vulnerability to service interruptions from water and sand intrusion while also making it easier to respond to potential leaks or damage by third-party excavators. SHARP I allowed the company to accelerate the replacement of 92 miles of coastal infrastructure, create 413 construction jobs and begin installing EFVs for residential and business service lines. SHARP II will allow South Jersey Gas to take additional steps to reinforce our system, ensuring we can continue providing safe, reliable, affordable natural gas service to all our customers.