PSE&G plans $55M in upgrades as companies move to Camden

The Camden skyline, with Philadelphia in the background and Cooper University Hospital on the left.

Subaru of America, Lockheed Martin, Holtec International, the 76ers, and other employers that have announced plans to move facilities to Camden need not worry about gas and electricity when they get there.

Public Service Electric & Gas announced $55 million in infrastructure upgrades Monday to accommodate businesses as they relocate to Camden in the new few years, drawn there in part by state tax credits.

Utility officials said the improvements are part of the company's master plan to provide reliable service to the initial group of 30 such customers. According to the utility's president and chief operating officer, Ralph LaRossa, the improvements will also benefit current customers.

The improvements will include:

Higher-capacity electric transformers at the Locust Street substation.

New electric distribution lines from the substation.

Relocating gas facilities.

3,000 feet of new gas mains in adjacent communities.

The new businesses are expected to generate 66 megawatts of new demand for electricity and will need about 360 million additional BTUs of natural gas, according to LaRossa.

He told a news conference that engineering for the improvements had begun and that construction would soon follow, proceeding as weather permits.

The timing of Monday's announcement was intended in part to alert residents and motorists who might be affected by the construction work. The exact locations of the work, or how long it will take, were not announced.

Utility officials said the work would be funded through its ratepayers, not tax breaks or other incentives.

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd, one of the several officials, including U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D., N.J.), who attended the briefing at the utility's Camden office, said the energy improvements would help send the message "that Camden is taking the next step, and Camden can and will deliver on its promises."

856-779-3893 rgiordano@phillynews.com

@ritagiordano