On March 6, 2017, Team Pennsylvania investor FirstEnergy announced they will invest close to $1 billion in their Pennsylvania transmission and distribution system to help make it more resilient and responsive and encourage economic growth. “FirstEnergy’s success is directly linked to the economic well-being of the communities we are privileged to serve,” said Linda Moss, President of PA Operations for FirstEnergy and a Team Pennsylvania board member. FirstEnergy was formed in 1997 when Akron-based Ohio Edison merged with Centerior Energy. Ohio Edison had owned Penn Power since 1944. The newly formed FirstEnergy acquired two more Pennsylvania utilities, Penelec and Met-Ed, when it merged with GPU, Inc. in 2001. After a merger with Allegheny Energy in 2011, FirstEnergy added West Penn Power to its Pennsylvania utility operations, and it now serves more than 6 million customers in six states.
FirstEnergy’s four utility companies in Pennsylvania serve more than 2 million of their 6 million customers. FirstEnergy’s economic development team works closely with Pennsylvania’s business network to attract and retain new and existing business, and to encourage capital investment and job creation. “We believe manufacturing remains a main driver of the economy and creator of wealth, and we appreciate Pennsylvania’s diverse manufacturing base,” said Moss. “For advanced manufacturing operations to succeed in the 21st century, we need a talented workforce and continual innovation. Pennsylvania is rich in post-secondary educational institutions capable of providing the ongoing support necessary to keep our industries growing.”
FirstEnergy sees Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources and the exploration of Marcellus shale natural gas as a game changer for the state and country. The use of fracking has made it economical to extract large pockets of gas derivatives, and in the last ten years, FirstEnergy has experienced a large load growth in the energy sector, particularly from midstream gas operations. “Team Pennsylvania and DCED are helping to drive the strategy, and a great example of that leadership and collaboration is the recently-released study, ‘Prospects to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Opportunities in Petrochemical Manufacturing’,” said Moss. “The June 2016 announcement of Shell’s plans to construct a cracker facility in Western Pennsylvania, which will add downstream opportunities to the economy, creating new opportunities to revitalize manufacturing in the state.”
FirstEnergy has been a true partner of Team Pennsylvania with our efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness. According to Moss, “FirstEnergy understands the value of participating in a statewide public-private partnership to further the economic well-being of the commonwealth.” Moss joined our Board of Directors in 2015 and has said of her experience: “Being a board member has offered me the chance to get firsthand knowledge of economic drivers and provide both input and feedback on key initiatives that are tantamount to supporting economic growth.”
The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by the company and provides support to health and human services agencies, educational organizations, cultural and arts programs, and civic groups in areas they serve and conduct business. We are very grateful for FirstEnergy’s investment in Team Pennsylvania and Linda Moss’ voice on our Board of Directors.