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 extent and duration of COVID-19 and the impacts to our business, operations and financial condition resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 including, but not limited to, disruption of businesses in our territories, volatile capital and credit markets, legislative and regulatory actions, the effectiveness of our pandemic and business continuity plans, the precautionary measures we are taking on behalf of our customers and employees, our customers’ ability to make their utility payment and the potential for supply-chain disruptions; risks and uncertainties associated with the ongoing government investigation regarding Ohio House Bill 6 and related matters; mitigating exposure for remedial activities associated with retired and formerly owned electric generation assets, including, but not limited to, risks associated with the decommissioning of TMI-2; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, executing our transmission and distribution investment plans, controlling costs, improving our credit metrics, strengthening our balance sheet and growing earnings; legislative and regulatory developments, including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, compliance and enforcement activity; economic and weather conditions affecting future operating results, such as significant weather events and other natural disasters, and associated regulatory events or actions; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, the reliability of our transmission and distribution system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission and distribution investment opportunities; changes in customers’ demand for power, including, but not limited to, the impact of climate change or energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us and/or our major industrial and commercial customers or others with which we do business; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system, which may compromise our operations, and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information; the ability to comply with applicable reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes to environmental laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those related to climate change; changing market conditions affecting the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our pension trusts and other trust funds, or causing us to make contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger, than currently anticipated; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings; labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; changes to significant accounting policies; any changes in tax laws or regulations, 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, including the increasing number of financial institutions evaluating the impact of climate change on their investment decisions; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect either our access to or terms of financing or our financial condition and liquidity; the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our SEC filings. Dividends declared from time to time on our common stock during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by our 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 FirstEnergy’s filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and 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 FirstEnergy’s 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. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein or in the information incorporated by reference as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.