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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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FirstEnergy Employees Recognized with Electric Industry Awards

AKRON, Ohio, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, nonprofit organization for energy and environmental research, recently recognized several FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) employees with Leadership and Technology Transfer awards.  The awards recognize contributions in 2013 by utility employees for technology leadership or for successfully applying technology solutions supported by EPRI research to benefit the electric power industry.

EPRI recognized Alex Stefanovic, Operations Department at The Illuminating Company, with a Leadership Award for his outstanding technical expertise.  Stefanovic and his team's work on substation transformers, breakers and capacitor banks has helped to enhance transmission system reliability and the role of research and development in addressing important issues for the electricity industry.

George Verib, Technical Services, and Timothy Zak, Nuclear Chemistry Operations, FirstEnergy, were recognized for their leadership and technical expertise conducting trials over several years to prevent water corrosion on metal surfaces inside power plant boilers.  This work has helped determine how to protect boiler and power plant steam cycle components at minimum expense in an environmentally sound way.

Scott Brown and Joseph Lapcevic, both from FirstEnergy's Environmental Generation Air & Water Programs, won an award for leading efforts to gather technical data for EPRI's Ohio River Ecological Research Program.  As a result, a large database has been created that helps utilities to evaluate changes over time in fish populations, habitats and water quality near power plants operating on the Ohio River.

Donald J. Miller, Cyber Security & IT Compliance, FirstEnergy, was recognized for his leadership of the company's effort to implement secure, remote access technologies for management of critical protective substation equipment.  This work provided the industry with an improved understanding of cyber security concepts to help increase reliability for the transmission system.

Rebecca Leiter, Rates and Regulatory Affairs for FirstEnergy, received an award for her work evaluating customer behavior with regard to energy use, price, and technologies.  Customers were offered either a programmable thermostat or displays that showed real-time energy usage, along with automated meters to encourage customers to save energy and money during times when demand for electricity was highest.  This research will help utility companies predict how customers will respond to varying prices and which technologies they are most likely to use to reduce their energy usage and costs.

Eva Gardow, FirstEnergy Technologies, was recognized for forming the Energy Storage Integration Council.  The goal of this collaborative is to help drive the adoption and use of reliable, safe and cost-effective energy storage options for the utility industry.  

Stephen Briggs, FirstEnergy Technologies, was recognized for his work outfitting Chevrolet® Volt® cars in FirstEnergy's fleet with high-resolution data-logging equipment.  This work resulted in a real-world evaluation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the grid.  Electric vehicle research continues to help FirstEnergy and the industry evaluate smart-charging technologies, including grid-vehicle connectivity, standards-based communications and off-peak charging to ensure future grid reliability.

Ray Evans, FirstEnergy Environmental, accepted the award for the company's outstanding leadership in developing new processes to manage arsenic in coal combustion byproduct (CCB) disposal impoundment.  This work will help industry handle CCBs in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of industry and the public.  An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment.  EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries.  EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

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 nearly 18,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Chevrolet® and Volt® are registered trademarks of General Motors, Inc.

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," "will," "intend," "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 ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission plan and planned distribution rate cases and the effectiveness of our repositioning strategy; 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 or the West Virginia Citizen Action Group's pending appeal of the Generation Resource Transaction; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM Interconnection LLC; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins such as the polar vortex or other significant weather events; regulatory outcomes associated with storm restoration, 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 (CAIR), and/or any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the United States 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 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); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building and steam generator replacement at Davis-Besse; 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 not fully 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, the benefits from our announced dividend reduction and our proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives; 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; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain 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 plans, 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; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations or adverse tax audit results or rulings; 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 United States 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.

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