FirstEnergy's Energizing the Future Initiative Driving Enhanced Service Reliability for CustomersProjects resulting in fewer outages on the transmission system
AKRON, Ohio, July 12, 2018 -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) announced today that its Energizing the Future investment initiative is driving significant performance improvement in the company's electric transmission system. The program is aimed at modernizing the "electric superhighway" of the power grid, which carries energy across FirstEnergy's territory, often over long distances.
Since launching Energizing the Future in 2014, FirstEnergy has achieved a 37 percent reduction in equipment-related outages in its American Transmission Systems, Inc. (ATSI) zone, which includes high-voltage lines and substations serving the company's Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison utilities in Ohio, as well as Penn Power customers in western Pennsylvania.
FirstEnergy and its transmission companies expect to achieve similar results as the program expands eastward into the Met-Ed and Penelec service areas in Pennsylvania. A FirstEnergy transmission affiliate, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC (MAIT), will build and own these facilities. FirstEnergy expects to invest more than $1 billion per year on transmission upgrades from 2018-2021.
"Energizing the Future is an essential part of our efforts to ensure customers benefit from a smarter, stronger and more secure power grid in the years ahead," said Carl Bridenbaugh, vice president, Transmission. "A robust transmission system – along with a modern, resilient distribution grid – is necessary to keep power flowing to customers around the clock and to mitigate the risk of a larger, extended outage."
Since 2014, FirstEnergy has completed 600-700 transmission projects per year focused on three areas of investment:
- Upgrading or replacing aging infrastructure – such as circuit breakers, transformers and deteriorating poles or towers – to harden the company's transmission facilities against severe weather, reduce outages and cut maintenance costs
- Enhancing performance by building a smarter, more secure transmission system
- Adding operational flexibility that allows grid operators to more swiftly react to changing grid conditions and a changing energy supply mix
"The majority of the U.S. electric transmission system was built in the 1960s and 1970s, and significant upgrades are needed now and in the years ahead to modernize the system and enhance performance," Bridenbaugh said. "In the last few years, we've replaced or rebuilt more than 1,200 miles of transmission lines across our territory, and we have a rigorous process in place to identify projects that can reduce transmission outages and enhance reliability for customers."
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos are available for download on Flickr.
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CONTACT: Doug Colafella, (330) 384-5375