At FirstEnergy, it’s our responsibility to deliver the power our customers depend on in their daily lives. That’s why we’re continuing a major initiative to further upgrade and modernize our transmission system. These investments will benefit the communities we serve by enhancing service reliability across our entire system.
Often considered the “superhighway” of the power grid, the transmission system feeds electricity into our local networks of poles and wires that serve homes and businesses.
Energizing the Future involves upgrading many of our existing transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help prevent or reduce the duration of customer outages. Since 2014, we have upgraded or replaced existing power lines, incorporated new, smart technology into the grid, and upgraded dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. These upgrades produced reliability improvements across our transmission system. FirstEnergy will continue these investments through 2021, with planned spending of $4.2 to $5.8 billion over the next five years.
Delivering improved electric service to customers
- Enhancing service reliability by reducing the number and duration of customer power outages.
- Installing new, smart technology that can be operated remotely to help prevent some outages from occurring. Or, when an outage does occur, this advanced equipment can automatically pinpoint the location of a service disruption and limit the outage to only those customers where the damage occurred. This allows FirstEnergy to reduce the number of overall customers that are affected and shorten the duration.
- Modernizing infrastructure will ultimately lower maintenance costs charged to our customers. While older equipment still functions, it costs more to maintain, is more prone to outages, and cannot be retrofitted with new smart technology.
Image: An aerial construction worker connects wires to new transmission line structures, part of a $20 million project to address rising electric demand in Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs.
Partnering with local communities
- FirstEnergy relies on local contractors for some of this work, which creates local jobs. The environmental impact of most of these projects will be minimal.
- Most of the work will be done along existing rights-of-way, or within existing substations and facilities on FirstEnergy property, with minimal long-line construction. Helicopters are often used to string new lines, which completes the work faster and reduces the need to move large trucks and equipment across private property. Our staff is dedicated to working closely with local elected officials and property owners to address concerns and provide timely project updates.
Image: FirstEnergy foresters participate in an Ohio State University demonstration project that seeks to rejuvenate declining populations of bees and other pollinating insects.
Supporting economic growth
- Energizing the Future projects are designed to increase our load-serving capability in areas of our service territory where economic growth is occurring or anticipated. Some additional work continues on new transmission facilities that energize midstream shale gas infrastructure, including energy-intensive pipeline compressor stations and gas processing facilities.
- This proactive approach allows FirstEnergy to more readily accommodate new residential, commercial and industrial growth. It also reduces lead time for customers seeking electric service at newly constructed facilities.
Image: FirstEnergy crews putting the final touches on a new $30 million transmission project in Elyria, Ohio, to meet rising electric demand driven by local manufacturing growth.
Forward-Looking Statements: This website includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms “anticipate,” “potential,” “expect,” "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," “believe,” "project," “estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the ability to successfully execute an exit of commodity-based generation that minimizes cash outflows and associated liabilities, including, without limitation, the losses, guarantees, claims and other obligations of FirstEnergy Corp., together with its consolidated subsidiaries (FirstEnergy) as such relate to the entities previously consolidated into FirstEnergy, including FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.(FES), its subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), which have filed for bankruptcy protection; the potential for litigation and payment demands against FirstEnergy by FES, FENOC or their creditors, and the ability to successfully execute a definitive settlement agreement and obtain approvals from the Bankruptcy Court and others necessary for the comprehensive settlement as agreed to in principle; the risks associated with the bankruptcy cases of FES, its subsidiaries and FENOC, including, but not limited to, third-party motions in the cases that could adversely affect FirstEnergy, its liquidity or results of operations; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and the effectiveness of our strategy to operate as a fully regulated business; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission and distribution investment plans; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, assessment of the reliability of our transmission and distribution system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission and distribution investment opportunities; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, the ability to grow earnings in our regulated businesses, continue to reduce costs through FE Tomorrow, FirstEnergy’s initiative launched in late 2016 to identify its optimal organization structure and properly align corporate costs and systems to efficiently support a fully regulated company going forward, and other initiatives, and to successfully execute our financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings; the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of our remaining commodity-based generating units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and as it relates to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; economic and weather conditions affecting future sales, margins and operations, such as significant weather events, and all associated regulatory events or actions; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and/or our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties with which we do business; the impact of labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system that may compromise our generation, transmission and/or distribution services and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information regarding our business, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, business partners and other individuals in our data centers and on our networks; the impact of the regulatory process and resulting outcomes on the matters at the federal level and in the various states in which we do business, including, but not limited to, matters related to rates; the impact of the federal regulatory process on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated entities and transactions, in particular FERC regulation of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) wholesale energy and capacity markets and cost-of-service rates, as well as FERC’s compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; other legislative and regulatory changes, including the federal administration's required review and potential revision of environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger, than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to significant accounting policies; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, adopted December 22, 2017, or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; further actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries’ access to financing, increase the costs thereof, letters of credit and other financial guarantees, and the impact of these events on the financial condition and liquidity of FirstEnergy Corp. and/or its subsidiaries; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other similar factors. Dividends declared from time to time on FirstEnergy Corp.'s common stock, and thereby on FirstEnergy Corp.'s preferred stock, during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by FirstEnergy Corp.'s Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. These forward-looking statements are also qualified by, and should be read together with, the risk factors included in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which risk factors supersede and replace the risk factors contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-K, and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. The foregoing review of factors also should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.