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Power company restarts a quarter of NJ plants hit by Sandy

A fallen electric post belonging to the PSEG company is seen on a street in Union City, New Jersey, is this file photo taken November 2, 201
A fallen electric post belonging to the PSEG company is seen on a street in Union City, New Jersey, is this file photo taken November 2, 201

By Scott DiSavino

(Reuters) - New Jersey power company Public Service Enterprise Group Inc (PSEG) said Monday it has restarted about of a quarter of its power plants in New Jersey that were knocked offline by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the U.S. East Coast three weeks ago.

"Hurricane Sandy caused damage to some of our generation sites in northern N.J. Since the storm hit, we have made great progress around restoration," PSEG spokeswoman Nancy Tucker told Reuters in an e-mail.

She said PSEG Power, the company's generating arm, has restored 916 megawatts (MW) to the grid for dispatch; 1,535 MW are in recovery from the storm and simultaneously undergoing planned maintenance outages and an additional 1,371 MW are undergoing assessment and recovery.

One megawatt can power about 800 to 1,000 homes in New Jersey.

"There has been no impact to grid reliability. It is our intention to bring all of our units back to service," Tucker said, adding the company does not name specific plants for competitive reasons.

On the company's earnings conference call a few days after Sandy hit New Jersey, PSEG's CEO Ralph Izzo said the storm affected units at the Kearny (463-MW), Linden (1,570 MW) and Sewaren (558 MW) power plants in northern New Jersey.

PSEG has not named the other 1,200 MW or so of power units knocked out by Hurricane Sandy.

Genscape, a provider of power supply information, said Monday that PSEG's Linden plant was restarting.

Genscape also said it detected signs Phillips 66's gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit, crude distillation unit and hydrotreater at the Bayway refinery in Linden were preparing for restart.

Phillips 66 said the 238,000 barrel-a-day refinery was expected to resume normal production by the end of November.

Separately, PSEG said there were no problems with its electrical substations that supply power to the Bayway refinery.

Despite the loss of a few power plants in northern New Jersey, PSEG still has access to power from hundreds of generating facilities located elsewhere in the PJM power grid.

PJM, the biggest power system in the United States, serves more than 60 million people in 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states and the District of Columbia from New Jersey to Illinois and as far south as North Carolina.

PSEG Power owns about 13,200 MW of generating capacity.

(Reporting By Scott DiSavino; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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