In May, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a package of clean energy legislation that included an economic safety net for the nuclear plants that provide the state with clean, reliable and affordable nuclear energy.
The new law created a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program that will provide economic support for the nuclear plants that serve New Jersey – which provide more than half of the electricity generated in New Jersey, as well as more than 90 percent of the carbon-free electricity produced in the state. Nuclear helps New Jersey avoid 14 million tons of carbon and other air pollution each year – that’s the same as taking 3 million gasoline-burning cars off the road every single year.
In addition to its environmental attributes, nuclear energy provides a number of additional benefits for New Jersey.
Nuclear is one of New Jersey’s largest fuel sources. Fuel diversity provides resiliency and price stability. If the nuclear plants powering New Jersey were to close, the state’s electricity supply would become almost entirely dependent on one source of fuel for electricity.
The overall economic impact of PSEG’s Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants has been estimated at more than $800 million per year. The plants employ 1,600 people and support a total of 6,100 direct and indirect jobs statewide. All New Jersey customers would pay more for electricity if the nuclear plants that supply the state closed and their output was replaced by new fossil-fuel burning generation.