July 25, 2019 Read More →

New Jersey utility PSEG pledges to be carbon-free by 2050

CNN Business:

PSEG has relied on fossil fuels to keep the lights on for the past 116 years. Now, New Jersey’s largest and oldest power company is pledging to deliver carbon-free electricity to fight climate change.

The $30 billion utility provider announced Thursday that it’s on track to slash carbon emissions by 80% by 2046, compared with 2005 levels. And PSEG, which also serves more than a million customers on Long Island, is setting an ambitious goal of getting down to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To get there, the power company is shutting down its coal plants, betting big on offshore wind and working hard to keep its existing nuclear plant alive. PSEG said it won’t build or acquire any new fossil-fueled power plants, including those running on dirt-cheap natural gas.

PSEG is joining a growing list of power companies going all-in on the clean energy revolution. The movement reflects the rapid decline in renewable energy costs and a growing push by households, businesses and state governments to respond to the threat of climate change.

“We believe climate change is real. There is this crescendo that’s building,” PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo told CNN Business. “Climate change represents the pre-eminent challenge of our generation,” he wrote in a letter to stakeholders announcing the goals. “It’s far past time we moved beyond simply ‘heeding warnings’ to acting on them.”

Last month, PSEG announced an agreement to sell its stake in a pair of coal plants in western Pennsylvania. The company plans to shut its final coal-powered unit, located in Connecticut, within 18 months.

More: One of America’s oldest power companies is going carbon free

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