The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a proposal by Jersey Central Power and Light Co., an electric utility, to meet its short-to-medium-term power needs by purchasing power from utility-owned generating facilities located in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Under the agreement, the utility will purchase a total of 700 megawatts of power over an eight-year period from Pennsylvania Power and Light Co., Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.
In approving the proposal, the board found that the bidding procedures used by Jersey Central in selecting the contracts were proper, and the terms of each deal passed its established "market test" procedures.
The court rejected allegations by a group representing independent power producers that Jersey Central had failed to select a "diverse portfolio" of generation resources. It also rejected allegations that the purchase of such a significant increment of its power needs from coal-burning utilities would adversely impact New Jersey's air quality.
According to the board, Jersey Central would receive power from pumped storage and gas-fired facilities in addition to coal-fired generating units under the approved contracts. It also found that most of the utility's recent additions to its generating capacity have been gas-fired cogeneration plants, so the approved selections "are in line with the IRP [integrated resource planning] process." Re Jersey Central Power and Light Co., Docket Nos. EE91081432 et al., Dec. 19, 1996 (N.J.B.P.U.).