AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the tenth time in the past 12 years, Site Selection magazine has named FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) one of the top utilities in the country for promoting economic development. In 2012, the company helped attract more than $2.7 billion in third-party capital investment to its Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland service areas that is expected to create more than 7,900 new jobs.
The award recognizes utility companies that complement reliable power delivery to their customers with a hands-on approach to encouraging business development in their operational areas. Recipient utilities are chosen based on a mix of objective and subjective criteria, including what the utility does to help create jobs and facilitate investment in its area, website tools and data that can be used to help business development, and survey input from corporate end users and site consultants.
Among the largest job-creating developments fostered by FirstEnergy's collaborative economic development activities in 2012 were:
- Dollar General Company (Pa.), $100 million invested, 500 new jobs
- PetSmart (Pa.), $50 million invested, 500 new jobs
- Aquion Energy (Pa.), $7 million invested, 360 new jobs
- Thor Labs (N.J.), $20 million invested, 150 new jobs
Other ongoing FirstEnergy economic development projects and partnerships that are expected to help create new jobs and generate capital investments, include:
- FirstProspector – an interactive internet mapping program that allows users to search for available land sites and commercial buildings in FirstEnergy's service area. The program, which includes presentation-quality demographic and business analysis reports, is designed to help speed up and simplify the search process for new locations.
- Export Now Program – an on-going partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service helps provide export trade opportunities for FirstEnergy's small and medium-sized manufacturing customers. Now in its 17th year, more than 270 FirstEnergy customers have participated in international trade missions and events in Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe. In 2011, six FirstEnergy customers from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the U.S. Commercial Service's "Mexico & the Americas" Trade Winds event.
- IMPACTfactor+ – a computer simulation program for economic development that helps FirstEnergy's communities model the increase in economic activity as a result of new investment in an area's economy. Customized IMPACTfactor+ reports are generated for economic development partners to help measure the impact on jobs, output, personal income and tax revenue using industry-specific multipliers.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. Its generation subsidiaries currently control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
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, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from the realignment of American Transmission Systems, Incorporated into PJM Interconnection LLC; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins; regulatory outcomes associated with storms, including but not limited to Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm of 2011; changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and availability and their impact on retail margins; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible greenhouse gas emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Clean Air Interstate Rule, or CAIR, and/or any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules including our estimated costs of compliance; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units including the decision to deactivate the Hatfield's Ferry and Mitchell Power Stations, the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, Reliability Must-Run arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid; 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 Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to Metropolitan Edison Company's and Pennsylvania Electric Company's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their Transmission Service Charge riders; the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the ability to reduce costs and to successfully complete our announced financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet, including but not limited to, proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives, the proposed West Virginia asset transfer and potential sale of non-core hydro assets; our 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 Regulated Distribution segment and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of liabilities and the value of assets held in our nuclear decommissioning trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our 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 our announced financial plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission 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.