FirstEnergy Corp. announced an incremental investment in global venture capital firm Energy Impact Partners’ (EIP) Fund II this week. Through this and other funds, EIP brings leading utility, energy, real-estate and industrial companies together with sustainable energy entrepreneurs to help finance, develop and deploy technologies to lead the transition to a sustainable future.
As a limited partner in EIP Fund II, FirstEnergy joins with leading utilities and other companies to provide more than $1 billion in capital commitments to the initiative. Some of the core target areas for EIP Fund II investments include HVAC and transportation electrification initiatives, energy storage and carbon capture technology, grid hardening and cyber security, and smart home and cities programs. Examples so far:
- Battery storage projects in Maryland – Potomac Edison has received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to install two battery storage projects, including one that is paired with a new EV fast-charging station.
Memberships in the Electric Highway Coalition and the Alliance for Transportation Electrification – These groups are committed to expanding the use of all types of transportation electrification options.
- A proposed EV program in New Jersey – If approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the program would offer incentives and rate structures to support the development of EV charging infrastructure throughout the service territory of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a FirstEnergy utility.
- Utility-scale solar generation in West Virginia – FirstEnergy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison have filed a proposal with the West Virginia Public Service Commission to build five utility-scale solar energy projects throughout the utilities’ West Virginia service territory. Together, the facilities would generate 50 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to help make West Virginia more attractive for business development.
Also this week, FirstEnergy Corp.’s Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power (West Penn) utility companies filed plans with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC) to procure electric generation supply beginning June 2023 for customers who choose not to shop with alternate suppliers.
The companies, which do not own any electric generating plants, serve more than two million customers in Pennsylvania. An auction process will be used to ensure the utilities’ customers have a secure supply of electric generation.
The procurement process will be managed by CRA International, Inc. (CRA). Under the proposed plan, CRA will conduct the first auction in November 2022 and then semiannually from 2023 to 2026. Generation prices will be calculated based on a blended average by customer class. The process will ensure the confidentiality of information provided by bidders, which will be required to certify that they are creditworthy, acting independently of other bidders, and are making firm offers to provide generation service to customers.
The proposed program also includes a process for meeting state-mandated alternative energy standards, including a separate bidding process to procure a long-term solar energy project. The solar Alternative Energy Credits from the solar project will be used to meet a portion of state-mandated alternative energy standards.
Additionally, the companies have proposed to continue the Customer Referral Program that was established in August 2013 in an effort to continue to enhance retail competition in their service territories.
Information about the filing and the proposed procurement program is available on the Companies’ individual websites. The companies expect that the PaPUC will rule on their Default Service Program petition in mid-2022.
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