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PSEG to retire two New Jersey coal plants in 2017

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World Coal,

PSEG intends to retire its two New Jersey coal plants in the US on 1 June 2017: Hudson Generation Station in Jersey City, and its Mercer Generation Station, in Hamilton Township.

"The sustained low prices of natural gas have put economic pressure on these plants for some time. In that context, we could not justify the significant investment required to upgrade these plants to meet the new reliability standards," said Bill Levis, President and Chief Operating officer for PSEG Power. "The plants have been infrequently called on to run and neither plant cleared the last two PJM capacity auctions. The plants' capacity payments have been critical to their profitability and PSEG's ability to continue to invest in modernizing them."

PSEG stressed that it is committed to treating the approximately 200 employees at Hudson and Mercer fairly during the process of retiring the existing units.

"These plants have played a critical role in powering the growth and economic expansion of New Jersey and PSEG is grateful to our employees who have played a part in building and running them for the past 50 years," said Levis. "We will work with our union and PSEG leadership to ensure that the plants continue to operate safely through their retirement dates and to place as many employees as possible within PSEG's family of companies."

PSEG has reported it remains committed to meeting the long-term energy needs of New Jersey and the region and currently is investing more than US$600 million in a new state-of-the-art combined-cycled gas plant in Sewaren, as well as new plants in Connecticut and Maryland.

Following the closure of these coal plants, New Jersey's energy now will be split almost evenly between nuclear and natural gas, with a small, but growing, amount of renewable energy. "We continue to believe that it is unwise for New Jersey to become too overly dependent on one source of energy," said Levis. "With the continued low cost of natural gas, it is important that we recognise and support the full value of non-carbon, non-polluting nuclear and renewable energy."

PSEG noted that it is evaluating all options for future use of the sites.

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