NJ Spotlight explainer: Where does New Jersey get its electricity? (Podcast)


Every once in awhile you just need to hear something explained like you’re a five-year-old. Today we bring clarity and simplicity to understanding where New Jersey gets its electricity. Gone are the days when the state regulated one coal-burning utility company.

We turn to Tom Johnson who covers energy and the environment for NJ Spotlight, an online website that does in-depth reporting on New Jersey policy issues. Johnson covered energy, environment and telecommunication industries in Trenton for The Newark Star-Ledger. 

In our conversation, Johnson told me that New Jersey creates about 75 percent of the electricity it uses. The other 25 percent is imported from other states.

You might be surprised to find out that more than half (56%) of the power generated in N.J. is now coming from natural gas-powered plants. Johnson says that’s a direct result of the natural gas extraction going on now in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region. 

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Today, coal only accounts for 11 percent of N.J.’s electricity while nuclear power generates 23 percent. 

New Jersey’s electric grid was deregulated in 1999, allowing for multiple electric companies to compete for customers. 


NJ Spotlight, a content partner with NewsWorks, a long list of similar ‘explainers’ on its website



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