GREENSBURG, Pa., Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced today that it has energized a new 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission line designed to strengthen its regional transmission network, accommodate future load growth and help maintain reliable electric service for customers in Greene County, Pa. The 14-mile transmission line connects a substation near Kirby, Pa., with a substation in Monongalia County, W. Va. Both substations were expanded and reconfigured to accommodate the new line. While the majority of the line is located in the West Penn Power service area, the West Virginia portion of the line is expected to benefit customers of Mon Power, another FirstEnergy subsidiary. "This transmission project is part of our continuous improvement effort to deliver the quality service our customers expect and deserve," said David McDonald, regional president of West Penn Power. "The new transmission line provides added redundancy, making our system more robust to benefit our customers, especially with the anticipated load growth in this area." Construction on the $20 million transmission project, which includes a combination of wooden and steel structures, began in the spring 2012 and involved FirstEnergy utility crews as well as outside contractors. As part of the design, the line also is connected with a large 500 kV substation near Mt. Morris in Greene County via a new transformer that was installed separately at a cost of about $8.5 million. In 2013, West Penn Power plans to spend approximately $110 million to further enhance the electrical system and reliability in its 24-county service area. Other major projects scheduled for this year include building new circuits, replacing underground cables, and inspecting and replacing utility poles. West Penn Power also continues to implement its vegetation management program to trim trees and maintain proper clearances along nearly 4,500 miles of distribution and sub-transmission lines at a cost of nearly $25 million to help reduce tree-related storm damage. West Penn Power serves about 720,000 customers in 24 Pennsylvania counties. Follow West Penn Power on Twitter @W_Penn_Power. 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 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. Editor's Note: Photo of the new 138-kV transmission line leaving the West Penn Power substation near Kirby, Pa., is available on Flickr. 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 FERC 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 ATSI's realignment into PJM, 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, operation and maintenance 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 GHG emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of CSAPR, CAIR, and/or any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the EPA's MATS 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 NSR 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, the RMR 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 NRC or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to ME's and PN's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their TSC 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 NDTs, 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, LOCs 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, and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our SEC filings, and other similar factors. Dividends declared from time to time on FE's common stock during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by FE's Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. 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 disclaim 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. www.firstenergycorp.com SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.