FE Named Top 20 Utility for Economic Development

October 6, 2020

FirstEnergy has been named by Site Selection magazine as a “Top 20” utility in 2020 for expertise in promoting economic development. Over the past five years, FirstEnergy has helped attract over 30,000 new jobs and $17.5 billion in third-party capital investment in its six-state service area.

The Site Selection award winners were chosen from a field of more than 3,300 electric utilities and cooperatives across the country. The recipient utilities were recognized for complementing reliable power delivery to their customers with a hands-on approach to encouraging business development in their operational areas.

“We take great pride in being recognized by Site Selection magazine for our results-oriented approach to promoting job creation and third-party capital investment in our footprint,” said Patrick Kelly, director, Economic Development. “Because our utilities have relationships with so many different businesses, we have the unique ability to build partnerships among state and local organizations, businesses and governments and effectively use innovative ideas to help promote the areas where we provide electric service.”

FirstEnergy’s economic development team regularly provides the following services for companies looking to locate or expand in its footprint:

  • Location analysis and community research
  • Site tours
  • Permitting and regulations expertise
  • Information on available sites and buildings
  • Demographic, workforce and business establishments data
  • Introductions to local, regional and state officials
  • Information about local and state economic development incentives

Kelly says the best economic development assistance his team can provide is being an active liaison with FirstEnergy’s 10 utility companies, especially when it comes to ensuring the local grid can handle the added electrical usage any new projects produce. Quite often, new infrastructure such as a substation or power line needs to be built to ensure safe and reliable service to the new or expanded facility.

Along with expertise in business development relationships and programs, the company is investing in transmission system enhancements and grid modernization to provide world-class infrastructure capable of powering energy-intensive industries now and in the future.