By Scott DiSavino
Jan 15 (Reuters) - Public Service Enterprise Group Inc is on track to sell its fossil-fired plants by the end of the year as it transitions into a mostly regulated utility operator and producer of 100% clean energy, the power company's chief executive said.
Energy companies are transitioning from dirty fuels to cleaner forms of energy to limit global warming from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by burning coal and other fossil fuels.
Most U.S. utilities plan to burn more natural gas - the cleanest fossil fuel - over the next decade as they retire coal plants until there is enough wind and solar power and energy storage available to keep the lights on and electric prices low.
New Jersey-based PSEG has already retired most of its coal plants. In July 2020, the company said it would speed its clean energy transition by selling its non-nuclear power plants, which include over 6,750-megawatt (MW) of gas-, oil- and coal-fired generation.
“The process will accelerate the transformation of our power generation business into a zero carbon emitter," PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo told Reuters this week.
Izzo said PSEG expects final bids for the plants by May or June. The company, which supplies power and gas to around 2.6 million customers, will remain a major electric generator by investing in offshore wind power and maintaining its three nuclear power plants.
In December, PSEG agreed to buy a 25% interest in the 1,100-MW wind farm Orsted A/S is building off New Jersey. That plant will cost around $5 billion based on industry estimates and is expected to enter service in 2024.
"We intend to participate further in offshore wind opportunities," Izzo said, noting PSEG has another site it co-owns with Orsted with access to Maryland and New Jersey.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)