Atlantic City Electric on Wednesday announced a major commitment to clean energy, tackling climate change and building resilience in South Jersey.
And not only is there a lot of talk. The utility said it is launching a multi-faceted, action-oriented effort to help the state meet its clean energy and climate goals. As part of the commitment, Atlantic City Electric will:
- Focus on actionable measures to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint;
- Providing innovative solutions that enable customers to achieve their climate protection goal;
- Encourage collaboration with stakeholders and community partners to achieve greater greenhouse gas reductions across South Jersey;
- Continuation of existing efforts to deal with the effects of climate change.
The need to do this has never been more urgent and more important, said Gary Stockbridge, president of the Atlantic City Electric region.
AC Electric's efforts
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“Climate change is real and is affecting New Jersey and its people today,” he said. “The recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms have shown that we must take action now to empower the local energy grid through smarter, stronger and cleaner technologies that will help ensure a clean and healthy environment for the future.
“We know we can't do this on our own, but we recognize the positive impact we can have if we help to be an important part of change.”
As a first step, Atlantic City Electric is taking steps to reduce its own carbon footprint as quickly and efficiently as possible while ensuring resilience and assessing the willingness of the local power grid to support a more efficient and electrified economy.
Last month, Atlantic City Electric, together with its sister company Exelon Corp. obliged to reduce operational emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to a baseline value from 2015 and by 2050 as part of Exelon's broad “Path to Clean” commitment.
Atlantic City Electric's key commitments include:
- Transition to clean energy for its own buildings, including purchasing 50% carbon free electricity by 2025 and supporting the 100% clean energy goal in New Jersey by 2050;
- Install energy efficient lighting in all Atlantic City Electric office buildings and substations as the company works to modernize its buildings by 2025;
- Completed energy audits to identify additional energy savings opportunities at its key facilities, including the Atlantic Regional Office in Mays Landing;
- Electrify 50% of the company's passenger and medium-duty fleet by 2030;
- Installation of additional charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the workplace;
- Reducing SF6 impacts by using non-SF6 containment equipment wherever possible and improving equipment monitoring and upgrading to help reduce SF6 emissions from existing equipment;
- Activating the company's employees to promote the use of public transport and ridesharing, and to measure and improve their own individual greenhouse gas footprint;
- Improve the overall resilience of corporate infrastructure and further assess the impact of climate change on the electrical system, take action to mitigate climate risk and invest to make the grid smarter, stronger and cleaner.
In addition to the measures that Atlantic City Electric is taking to improve its operations, the company is committed to helping its customers meet their climate goals by enabling them to manage their energy use, use clean and renewable technologies, and emissions through a number of innovative products and programs that the company wishes to offer, including:
- New energy efficiency programs have recently been launched that provide a range of services and tools, including special ways for low and middle income households to control their energy use and save money;
- Launch of a new energy marketplace to provide quick and easy access to discounted energy efficient products such as LED lights, thermostats, advanced power strips and more;
- Facilitating the transition to solar energy by improving interconnection processes and improving the customer's solar toolkit to provide a one-stop shop for solar applications as well as the company's online solar hosting capacity card;
- Providing low tariffs and other incentives to encourage customers to switch to cleaner, more efficient electric vehicles;
- Make the local energy network smarter through Atlantic City Electric's Smart Energy Network program, which offers numerous benefits for customers, such as making better informed decisions about their energy consumption.
As part of this initiative, Atlantic City Electric will continue to work with government, community, citizen and nonprofit partners across New Jersey on innovative measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money and energy, and build resilience.
Some of the initiatives Atlantic City Electric plans to work with partners across New Jersey include:
- Enabling solar energy for customers with limited incomes by continuing to participate in a pilot program that will help drive a more robust community solar program across South Jersey;
- Providing shade and planting of energy efficient trees through an ongoing partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation to provide free trees to Atlantic City Electric customers and communities;
- Advancing solar, storage and other wired solutions by working with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and other stakeholders to make it easier to connect additional clean and renewable energy sources and technologies such as battery storage and smart inverters to improve grid operations , as well as the use of battery technology to improve reliability and resilience;
- Supporting offshore wind development in New Jersey by working with offshore wind developers to facilitate connections to Atlantic City Electric's transmission system and participating in PJM's process of building transmissions to support offshore wind development;
- Granted $ 75,000 annually through Atlantic City Electric's Sustainable Community Grants program in partnership with Sustainable Jersey to help communities conserve freedom and build resilience;
- Increase the local clean energy workforce by expanding the curriculum related to the company's human resource development programs to include energy efficiency and clean energy technologies such as solar and wind power;
- Engaging and educating students on climate change through the NJ Student Climate Challenge, a partnership between Atlantic City Electric, the Drumthwacket Foundation and Sustainable Jersey, where they promote the growing role of young people in tackling the climate crisis;
- Prepare the local energy grid for future clean energy resources through ongoing analysis and modeling to understand the investments required to support the growth of distributed energy resources such as solar, electric vehicles and battery storage.
Stockbridge said he appreciated the efforts of Governor Phil Murphy and the Legislature to advance the New Jersey clean energy industry by enacting and entering into force the groundbreaking Clean Energy Act, which marks the significant advancement of solar energy, energy storage, and offshore wind Energy demands efficiency.
Murphy also created the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, the main goal of which is to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 and to drive greater electrification of the entire economy, including transportation.
“We applaud the commitment of Governor Murphy and the state legislature to a clean and sustainable energy future for all New Jersey residents and support efforts to establish the state as a leader in clean energy and climate,” said Stockbridge. “We strongly support these efforts and are taking steps and working to ensure that these goals are achieved in a just and affordable manner.”