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FirstEnergy (FE) Gets Nod for Two Battery Storage Projects

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In response to Maryland’s Energy Storage Pilot Program, FirstEnergy Corp.’s (FE - Free Report) subsidiary Potomac Edison had proposed two battery energy storage projects, which received a regulatory approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission. These projects are likely to be complete in 2022.

The twin projects will help Potomac Edison study the impact of energy storage during the times of increased demand.

Projects Details

One project will be located in Allegany County with a capacity worth 1.75-megawatt (MW) of energy storage. During outages or emergencies, this project will provide back-up power to customers in Allegany and Washington counties along with enhancing its service reliability in the west of Hancock Town. To ensure proper engineering and efficiency at the operating battery energy storage system, the unit is planning to partner with storage developer Convergent Energy + Power.

The other project to be located in Frederick will be adjacent to the unit’s new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station at the Park and Ride Lot. The $1.1-million system will include a 500-kilowatt battery. It will provide continuous charge for electric vehicles and trim the required load during peak demand.

Other Efforts

As part of Potomac Edison’s EV Driven pilot program, the unit had installed its first fast-charging stations in Maryland. This will reduce auto emissions and support the state's goal to reach 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Per the program, the unit will install 59 charging stations including 20 fast-charging stations across the Maryland territory. FirstEnergy plans to electrify 30% of its vehicle fleet by 2030 and the remaining by 2050.

In November 2020, FirstEnergy updated its target to become fully carbon neutral by 2050 with a mid-term goal of achieving 30% reduction in greenhouse gases within the company's direct operational control by 2030 from the 2019 baseline. To this end, in February 2021, the utility began constructing a transmission substation in Trumbull County to meet the rapidly-increasing energy demands of the expanding EV industry.

Other electric utilities are also focused on lowering their toxic emission levels by replacing the carbon-emitting facilities with clean-energy sources. Utilities like Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) , Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) and DTE Energy (DTE - Free Report) already set a target of attaining net-zero emission by 2050.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

In the year-to-date period, shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 21.5%, outperforming the industry’s rise of 4.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

 

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