FirstEnergy transmission unit moves forward

FirstEnergy President and CEO Charles Jones said July 29 that the company is making good progress on transferring much of its wires assets into a stand-alone transmission unit, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, or MAIT.

One June 19, Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Penelec, JCP&L, FirstEnergy Transmission (FET) and MAIT made filings with FERC as well as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The entities are seeking to move their transmission assets to MAIT, a unit of FET.

This effort is in connection with FirstEnergy‘s “Energizing the Future” initiative that involves upgrading and strengthening the power grid to meet the future demands. The transmission push involves $4.2 billion investment in the company’s transmission system between 2014 and 2017.

FirstEnergy said the effort is geared toward meeting projected load growth driven primarily by shale gas-related activity in the region.

Earlier this month, the MAIT asset transfer received a preliminary approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, which awaits a final order from the PUC.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has set procedural schedule was issued with evidentiary hearings in late October/early November.

FERC has already approved the transaction, according to FirstEnergy materials that accompanied the earnings call.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

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