FirstEnergy's big transmission play has been common knowledge since April 26. Take a look at PJM's April 27 TEAC presentation to find a FirstEnergy transmission project near you.
But suddenly, FirstEnergy attempts to package $1B worth of transmission projects as "an initiative." They are simply revving their propaganda engines -- more improper influencing of regulators, shifty land agents, divide and conquer "open houses," and astroturf front groups coming right up!
"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."
And about those, "impacts to property owners and the environment"...
During their 4th quarter 2011 earnings call, FirstEnergy bragged that, "The skill sets acquired from Allegheny on transmission siting and construction will also be invaluable going forward as future projects are completed."
In that case, check out Allegheny Energy's transmission "skill sets" in minimizing impact to the environment (pictures!). Also check out Allegheny Energy's impacts on property owners here and here (letters from affected landowners). See one of Allegheny Energy's Option for Real Estate Purchase, or a Right-of-Way Purchase Agreement and read about how Allegheny Energy treated landowners during their failed PATH transmission project in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. Expect to be treated accordingly because these old dogs will never learn new tricks, they just move on to fresh meat with their "skill sets" intact.
And how does Ohio feel about FirstEnergy's "Energizing the Future" initiative? Lance S. Traves, president of Labyrinth Management Group Inc. in Medina, a strategic environmental, health and safety consulting firm, thinks FirstEnergy's initiative is "bad energy policy for Ohio."
"FirstEnergy Corp.'s recent announcement that it will spend up to $1 billion to upgrade the electricity transmission system in Ohio to further support centralized generation is another example of a short-term energy policy that is bad for the state.
These costs to be paid by Ohio ratepayers will only heighten existing barriers to more efficient and cleaner forms of distributed electricity such as industrial co-generation and combined heat and power (CHP) in Ohio.
Second, the planned transmission upgrades will subsidize FirstEnergy's ability to use more distant power plants to provide power to Ohio. Longer transmission distances result in increased transmission line electricity losses and lower overall efficiency. However, when rate payers cover the capital cost for transmission, FirstEnergy and other investor-owned utilities can afford the additional transmission losses."
Gotta introduce this guy to Bill :-)
FirstEnergy -- out of your backyard and into someone else's. It would be nice if they could at least finish their last failure by properly abandoning the PATH project before moving on to new profit-making "initiatives" and having their "best practices" turned upside down by a new crop of transmission project opponents.