At SJI, our commitment to delivering safe, reliable, affordable energy to our more than 700,000 residential and commercial customers has remained unwavering throughout our company’s history. In the past few years, we’ve doubled down on this commitment by expanding our clean energy and renewable energy efforts to ensure that we can deliver on our mission in the decades to come.
Most notably, in 2021, SJI announced plans to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Since then, we’ve worked hard to achieve New Jersey’s vision of a clean energy future. Now, with the advancement of our renewable energy investments, energy efficiency programs, and infrastructure upgrades, as well as the formation of a talented team of clean energy professionals, we’re re-envisioning how we lead our employees, customers, and communities to a better today and tomorrow.
In recognition of our company’s progress towards this goal, we reaffirmed our commitment to sustainability earlier this year by marking the next phase of our comprehensive clean energy plan – Leading the Way – that captures our company’s current progress and renewed vision.
Most notably, in 2021, SJI announced plans to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040.
Renewable Energy Development
Since last year, we’ve made significant strides in meeting our clean energy goals by developing renewable energy projects – a cornerstone of our overall approach to sustainability. Below is a snapshot of our work thus far and what we look forward to accomplishing in the coming year:
▶ Our subsidiary, SJI Renewable Energy Ventures and its development partner REV LNG, LLC, have a pipeline of 40 renewable natural gas (RNG) Dairy farms and have broken ground on 14 RNG facilities, including four in Michigan, three in upstate New York, one at Connecticut’s largest dairy farm, and six large facilities across Minnesota and South Dakota.
▶ Elizabethtown Gas recently announced its partnership with RNG Energy Solutions to build an interconnection between the developer’s organic food waste anaerobic digester project in Linden, NJ, and the utility’s natural gas supply.
▶ We are partnering with Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a renewable energy developer approved by the State of NJ to build a wind farm off the coast of Southern New Jersey, to create a pilot program for the production of green hydrogen.
▶ SJI Energy Enterprises, SJI’s non-regulated, clean energy-focused subsidiary, acquired a 5.66 MW solar and 5.2 MWh battery storage facility in Agawam, Massachusetts, in December 2021 through Catamaran Renewables and recently brought on-line a brown-field solar array at a landfill in Florence Township, NJ.
▶ As part of our joint venture with Captona, Catamaran Renewables, SJI has acquired three fuel cell projects – two in Staten Island, NY, and one in Bronx, NY which produce a total of 12.5 MW.
Sustainable Enhancements to Infrastructure
Recognizing that safety, reliability, and sustainability go hand-in-hand, our utilities have implemented several enhancements that significantly reduce the release of harmful greenhouse gas emissions while making our infrastructure more resilient, including:
▶ In 2021, South Jersey Gas completed its Accelerated Infrastructure Replacement Program, replacing more than 800 miles of cast iron and bare-steel main with high-efficiency PVC plastic pipe.
▶ Through its five-year, $300 million Infrastructure Investment Program, Elizabethtown Gas will replace 250 miles of vintage cast iron, bare steel, ductile iron, copper, and vintage plastic mains and services. Since the program’s inception, Elizabethtown Gas has replaced 89.9 miles of main.
▶ South Jersey Gas also secured the approval of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to implement a $200 million, five-year Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP). The IIP will replace approximately 250 miles of at-risk facilities, including vintage coated steel and Aldyl-A plastic mains and related services, as well as install excess flow valves on new service lines.
▶ In addition, both utilities continue to install tens of thousands of excess flow valves in their systems, which automatically shut off gas flow during a service line break.
▶ In July 2021, South Jersey Gas cut the ribbon on its New Sentury Pump Station, a $69M facility created to regulate consistent pressure throughout the South Jersey Gas distribution system. The pump station helps prevent gas supply interruptions caused by irregularities to the system, such as extreme weather, peak-demand events, man-made disruptions or other issues that may affect interstate pipelines. Recognized with The New Jersey Alliance for Action’s “Distinguished Engineering Award,” the project led to the creation of approximately 275 jobs. At this facility we are also designing an electrolyzer that will produce green hydrogen and deliver it to the South Jersey Gas distribution system in 2023.
Expanded Energy Efficiency Programming
Finally, below is a snapshot of how SJI is involving and engaging customers in efforts to protect the environment and sustain the region’s natural resources:
▶ In 2021, our utility subsidiaries, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas, with the support of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, expanded their energy efficiency programs by
$216 million. The program will help our customers save $329M in energy costs and 104 million therms of energy over its lifetime, which equates to preventing the release of over 953,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Moreover, the program has the potential to support the creation of over 4,500 jobs over three years.
▶ Our utilities also recently formed partnerships with EmPowered Schools, a sub-coalition of the Alliance to Save Energy, to educate students on energy efficiency. The year-long, STEM-based curriculum teaches students about energy-efficient practices. It also positions them to lead energy-saving campaigns in schools, homes and communities.
▶ South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas also launched Conserve. This online energy efficiency resource advises customers and future customers about reducing their energy usage and promoting energy efficiency.
At SJI, we recognize that we hold a shared responsibility with our employees, customers and communities to protect the environment we call home. We are committed to promoting sustainability, driving innovation and Leading the Way towards a clean energy future for our state and region.