FirstEnergy Announces “Energizing the Future” Initiative to Enhance Transmission System Reliability
AKRON, Ohio, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has announced plans to build a series of transmission projects to help enhance service reliability across its five-state service area. The projects have been approved by PJM Interconnection (PJM), the regional transmission organization that oversees reliability in all or part of 13 states and the District of Columbia.
FirstEnergy’s “Energizing the Future” initiative will include transmission projects – new or rebuilt high voltage power lines, new substations, and the installation of specialized voltage regulating equipment – in northern Ohio. PJM has determined the projects are needed to enhance system reliability as coal-fired power plants in the region are deactivated based on the U.S. EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and other environmental rules.
In addition to the work in Ohio, transmission projects will be completed in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland as part of FirstEnergy’s ongoing commitment to enhance its transmission system reliability. The company estimates spending between $700 million – $900 million over the next five years on these projects.
“We have worked closely with PJM Interconnection to develop solutions that reinforce our transmission system, particularly in areas where power plants will be deactivated,” says Carl Bridenbaugh, vice president, Transmission, FirstEnergy. “Whether it’s new high voltage transmission lines, new substations, or installing voltage regulating equipment at the power plants being deactivated, we are committed to providing ongoing communications to affected stakeholders – particularly governmental officials and customers – and will minimize impacts to property owners and the environment wherever possible as these projects are built.”
One of the key projects involves building a new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will run more than 100 miles from the company’s Bruce Mansfield Plant in Beaver County, Pa., to a new substation that will be built in the Cleveland suburb of Glenwillow. As designed, the new substation will connect with two existing 345-kV transmission lines that run through Glenwillow. To minimize potential impacts, approximately 70 percent of the project is expected to involve adding a line to existing structures. In addition, much of the remaining length of the project will involve existing property rights-of-way the company already controls.
The route for the Glenwillow-Bruce Mansfield Project – which could traverse parts of Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Mahoning, Columbiana, and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Beaver County, Pa. – will be reviewed in Ohio by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) and in Pennsylvania by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). If approved, the construction of the transmission line and substation will be simultaneous in order to meet PJM’s June 2015 in-service date. The public will have the opportunity to comment on this project at a series of public informational meetings scheduled in mid-June in areas potentially affected by the project.
The meetings will be held on June 18, 2012, at the Western Beaver County Junior/Senior High School in Industry, Pa.; June 18, 2012, at East Palestine High School in East Palestine, Ohio; June 19, 2012, at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center in Canfield, Ohio; June 20, 2012, at the Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio; and June 21, 2012, at Nordonia High School in Macedonia, Ohio. Comments received at these meetings will be used to help determine the preferred and alternate routes for the project.
For more information about FirstEnergy’s investment in transmission reliability, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/transmission.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, hydro, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 megawatts.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. 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,” “believe,” “estimate” 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. Actual results may differ materially due to: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, the status of the PATH project in light of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., (PJM) direction to suspend work on the project pending review of its planning process, its re-evaluation of the need for the project and the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of any related capital expenditures, the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from ATSI’s realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, changes in markets for energy services, changing energy and commodity market prices and availability, financial derivative reforms that could increase our liquidity needs and collateral costs, the continued ability of FirstEnergy’s regulated utilities to collect transition and other costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, including CSAPR which was stayed by the courts on December 30, 2011, and the effects of the EPA’s MATS rules, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to shut down or idle certain generating units), the uncertainties associated with the company’s plan to retire its older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments and PJM’s review of the company’s plans for, and timing of, those retirements, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC including as a result of the incident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), issues that could result from our continuing evaluation of the indications of cracking in the Davis-Besse plant shield building imposed by the Confirmatory Action Letter issued by the NRC, adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to Met-Ed’s and Penelec’s ability to recover certain transmission costs through their transmission service charge riders, the continuing availability of generating units and changes in their ability to operate at or near full capacity, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency mandates, changes in customers’ demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic goals, FirstEnergy’s ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the distribution business, the changing market conditions that could affect the value of assets held in FirstEnergy’s NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the impact of changes to material accounting policies, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with FirstEnergy’s financing plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, changes in general economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, interest rates and any actions taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect FirstEnergy’s and its subsidiaries’ access to financing or their costs and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, the state of the national and regional economy and its impact on major industrial and commercial customers of FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, issues concerning the soundness of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries do business, the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in FirstEnergy’s and its applicable subsidiaries’ SEC filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors 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 current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.