Gov. Chris Christie released the state’s draft 2011 Energy Master Plan (EMP), which supports placing a new energy plant in Lacey Township after the closing of Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in 2019.
The document announced that the state must develop a planning process to replace Oyster Creek in order to achieve its 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal, as a significant portion of energy supply must come from nuclear technology.
“There are a number of good reasons to locate a new plant on the Lacey Township property, including the presence of a highly skilled workforce, community support for such an initiative, and the existing electrical transmission infrastructure,” the plan says.
Although the EMP does not specify the type of alternative energy source the State would replace Oyster Creek with, the plan calls for the generation of energy to stay within the state to keep costs low and focuses on the construction of new nuclear baseload generation, natural gas, and solar and wind power.
Congressman John Runyan (R-3) applauded Christie’s support as he wrote the governor on Feb. 4, 2011, requesting Lacey’s inclusion in the EMP.
“A new power plant, regardless of the source of power, will go a long way to easing the economic and tax burden the people of Lacey Township and Ocean County will undoubtedly face in 2019,” Runyan said. “But, this is just the first step in a long process, and there is much work to do to ensure Lacey’s long term economic and environmental health.”
Committeeman David Most has been working with Runyan for months to ensure Lacey’s inclusion and said this is great news for Lacey Township.
“I would like to thank Congressman Runyan for his steadfast commitment to the people of Lacey Township, and I look forward to working with Congressman Runyan and Gov. Christie to help ensure a bright future for Lacey Township,” Most said.
Most has been working with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for the future of energy production in Lacey Township. The DPU has some conceptual ideas for Lacey but nothing is finalized, Most said.
“This was paramount as for the first step to be included in the Energy Master Plan,” Most said.
Most would like to see a bumpless transfer to another source of energy once Oyster Creek closes to minimize the impact on the township, he said.
“We’ve reached the first step in the process. Now we have to find a party that’s willing to build and look at the states wishes,” Most said.
The closure of Oyster Creek was announced by Christie and Exelon Corporation, the plant’s owner, in Dec. 2010.
Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States, beginning commercial operations on Dec. 23, 1969. The plant employs nearly 700 workers and provides enough electricity for 600,000 New Jersey homes.