FirstEnergy Corp. is the latest utility to announce a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Akron, Ohio-based company has set an interim goal of 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. The reduction will be measured against 2019 levels.
Among the actions planned include transitioning away from coal-fired in West Virginia by 2050 and seeking approval for building a solar power source of at least 50 MW in that state.
“We believe climate change is among the most important issues of our time,” said President and Acting CEO Steven E. Strah. “We will help address this challenge by building a more climate-resilient energy system and supporting the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Our ambitious new carbon goal and comprehensive climate strategy are fully aligned with our regulated business strategy and support our commitments to our customers, communities and investors, as well as environmental stewardship.”
The other plans include hardening of the transmission and distribution systems, replacing conventional utility trucks with electric and hybrid vehicles and utilizing new technologies to help customers manage their energy use.
In 2015, FirstEnergy announced plans to achieve a 90% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 2005 levels by 2045. To date, the company has reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 80% by implementing new technologies and retiring or transferring generation assets. The new goals represent a significant expansion of this target and reflect FirstEnergy’s transformation to a fully regulated utility.
FirstEnergy has electric utility operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.