Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset) that would prohibit electric public utilities from expanding a switching station by installing one or more 500-kilovolt capacitor banks within 300 feet of the property line of any area zoned for residential use was unanimously passed by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
"People who purchase a home to live, raise a family, or retire in should be protected from having a large energy facility expanded right next door," Bateman stated. "This is a common-sense bill that will protect the value, privacy and quality of life in homes across the state."
The impetus for this legislation was a proposal by PSEG to expand a switching station near Route 202 in Branchburg to include two new 500-kilovolt capacitor banks, a host of monopoles and three A-frame structures, two of which would reach as high as 140 feet. Because the land is zoned residential, Branchburg officials could reject the proposal. However, PSEG could appeal the decision to the state Board of Public Utilities who has the authority to override Branchburg's decision.