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Seventy-six municipalities and nine counties have passed resolutions endorsing New Jersey-based Public Service Electric and Gas Co.'s (PSE&G) "Energy Strong" proposal, which the utility says would fortify its electric and gas distribution systems against powerful storms and natural disasters.

According to PSE&G, leaders from towns in all 11 counties the utility serves support the proposed upgrades as necessary to help protect utility customers from lengthy service interruptions. PSE&G says Energy Strong calls for investing $3.9 billion over 10 years, including $2.6 billion in the first five years, to protect critical facilities, install backup distribution lines and improve communications capabilities.

PSE&G reports the proposal includes protecting more than 40 utility installations that were impacted by storm surges, adding new backup power lines, making the electric grid smarter to help identify problems and facilitate service restoration, strategically burying some wires, and modernizing the gas distribution system in flood-prone areas.

The Energy Strong proposal is currently being reviewed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, PSE&G notes.

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