When it comes to delivering reliable energy to millions of New Jersey homes and businesses, did you know that nuclear power is the workhorse of the grid – producing around-the-clock electricity that is both safe and carbon-free?
Most of us don’t realize that, anytime we flip on a light switch or charge our phones and tablets, nearly 40% of the power we use comes from New Jersey’s nuclear plants. Because nuclear energy has been around for decades and is clean, safe and reliable, we hear very little about it. Nuclear power is the backbone of our 24/7 energy supply.
A diverse fuel supply provides resiliency and price stability. New Jersey is in a unique situation where, without nuclear energy, we would be almost 100 percent dependent on natural gas to generate electricity. Without fuel diversity, if New Jersey gets all – or even most – of its power from one source, that leaves New Jersey vulnerable.
Customers would be vulnerable to price fluctuations and, as we nearly saw during the polar vortex in 2014, when natural gas supplies were in high demand for home heating, we would be vulnerable to power disruptions, as well.
A similar crisis occurred in 2018, when a bitter February cold snap dropped temperatures into the single digits. Homes and businesses naturally turned up the heat, placing increasing demand on electricity suppliers. New Jersey’s nuclear plants continued to operate near full capacity throughout the cold snap. Without them, New Jersey customers would have paid far more for their electricity during that period and power disruptions would have been a real possibility.
Nuclear energy has served New Jersey electric customers with safe, reliable energy for more than 50 years – and the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants continue to set new standards for reliable performance. In 2019, the plants combined to set their second-best generation output ever, including Hope Creek’s first breaker-to-breaker run, when it ran nonstop for 517 consecutive days, a new record.
In addition to its essential place in our diverse fuel mix, nuclear also is the source of 90% of New Jersey’s clean, carbon-free energy, and critical to New Jersey’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.
Here’s something else you might not realize: Nuclear energy helps keep New Jersey utility bills low. If our existing nuclear plants were to close for any reason, everyone’s monthly bills would be higher than they are today, because it costs more to replace their power than to keep them running.
Nuclear plays a critical role in maintaining the diverse supply of fuels used to generate electricity in New Jersey. Preserving New Jersey’s nuclear plants will help preserve a diverse energy portfolio, providing for a more reliable, resilient and affordable energy supply.
This post is sponsored content from PSE&G.