Questions & Answers

Q: What is the Montville – Whippany Reinforcement Project?

A: The Montville – Whippany Reinforcement Project is a proposed 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will connect existing electric substations in East Hanover and Montville in order to enhance service reliability, add redundancy and meet the growing demand for power in northern New Jersey. Click here for an overview map of the project.

Q: What communities will host this construction?

A: The route will place new structures – steel monopoles at an average height of 110 feet – primarily along an existing transmission corridor extending approximately six miles between Montville, Parsippany and East Hanover. Please click here to view detailed maps that demonstrate expected construction.

Q: Why is this project necessary?

A: JCP&L is constructing the project in response to directives from PJM Interconnection, the regional electric grid operator, which has notified JCP&L to address reliability issues.

The project is part of Energizing the Future, JCP&L’s $250 million, multi-year transmission reliability program throughout its service area. Specifically, the Montville-Whippany Reinforcement Project will address reliability issues that could impact service to more than 80,000 customers.

Q: How do Morris and Sussex Counties benefit?

A: Building this project will add redundancy to the system and reinforce service to more than 80,000 customers. By adding an additional 230 kV line into the Montville substation, in the event of a transmission disruption or during periods of great demand, this line can reroute energy to Morris and Sussex Counties to help reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

Q: How will this project affect the environment?

A: JCP&L takes its commitment to both the environment and sustainability very seriously. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will provide guidance to make sure JCP&L is preserving New Jersey’s wildlife and natural resources. There are permit, planning and reporting processes in place to ensure our company is taking every step to protect the environment.

Q: New power lines were just put up in our community, why can’t you use those?

A: Those power lines are operated by a different electric utility that does not serve the communities in this area. That existing infrastructure benefits other areas of the state. This project will maintain the reliability of service and benefit JCP&L customers in Morris and Sussex counties.

Q: Why did the route change after the November, 2013 open house meetings?

A: Based on input JCP&L received during and after the November, 2013 open house meetings, our company revised the line route. JCP&L held an additional open house meeting on November 10, 2014.

Q: Why does this project need to be built near a middle school?

A: The proposed transmission line will follow JCP&L’s existing right-of-way, land that was set aside years ago for energy transmission. Although the property conditions and location of the right-of-way do not provide many options for adjustment, the new structures will be placed the furthest away possible – at least 70 feet from the edge of the right-of–way.

Q: Why can’t you build the line underground?

A: There are several reasons why JCP&L has not proposed to build this project underground. First and foremost, there are considerable maintenance limitations associated with underground transmission lines that may actually prolong an outage due to access issues. Second, there are compatibility issues along the route – not the least of which are environmental concerns and physical constraints. Finally, there are cost considerations that could actually increase a customer’s energy bills.

Please know that JCP&L did consider an underground transmission construction, but ultimately determined that underground construction is not appropriate for this project.