New Jersey Utility Accelerates Net Zero Carbon Plan by 20 Years

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. is accelerating its plans to eliminate greenhouse gases, vowing to reach net-zero emissions by 2030, two decades earlier than its prior target.

A key part of the shift is the company’s ongoing transition to clean energy by selling or closing its fossil-fuel plants, according to a statement Thursday. New Jersey’s largest utility shuttered its last coal facility in May and is seeking to sell 6.75 gigawatts of natural gas assets.

PSEG’s goal is 20 years ahead of larger rivals including Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy Inc., which have set 2050 net-zero targets. It’s also earlier than President Joe Biden’s target of a carbon-free U.S. power grid by 2035.

“We realized we could do it sooner,” PSEG Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo said in an interview.

PSEG owns the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants in New Jersey that supply about half of the state’s electricity, and half of the Peach Bottom nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. It also has a 25% stake in the 1.1-gigawatt Ocean Wind offshore wind farm that Orsted AS is developing off the coast of New Jersey.

While the company is seeking to eliminate carbon emissions, Izzo recognized that selling its gas plants won’t keep the carbon out of the atmosphere. PSEG has multiple suitors for its gas portfolio and expects to announce a sale by early August.

“It changes our carbon footprint,” he said. “That doesn’t change the carbon footprint for the planet.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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