FirstEnergy Invests in Venture Capital Fund to Help Advance Sustainable Energy Innovation

Coalition of investors will help enhance decarbonization efforts and accelerate progress toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

PVTIME – As part of its efforts to advance new technologies that will benefit customers and address climate change, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) announced an incremental investment in global venture capital firm Energy Impact Partners’ (EIP) Fund II on December 14. Through this and other funds, EIP brings leading utility, energy, real-estate and industrial companies together with sustainable energy entrepreneurs to help finance, develop and deploy technologies to lead the transition to a sustainable future.

As a limited partner in EIP Fund II, FirstEnergy joins with leading utilities and other companies to provide more than $1 billion in capital commitments to the initiative. Some of the core target areas for EIP Fund II investments include HVAC and transportation electrification initiatives, energy storage and carbon capture technology, grid hardening and cyber security, and smart home and cities programs.

The relationship with EIP aligns with FirstEnergy’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with an interim goal of achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases within the company’s direct operational control by 2030.

“Over the course of our five-year commitment to EIP, FirstEnergy will have opportunities for early access to the cutting-edge technology and solutions being developed that will help us prepare the grid of the future and enable our customers to live more sustainably,” said Steven E. Strah, FirstEnergy president and chief executive officer. “Rather than having to develop a new product or program on our own, we can jumpstart the process by implementing a pilot program or partnership using technology from an EIP portfolio company to assess potential customer benefits before deploying on a wider scale.”

EIP Fund II already has made investments in several technology companies that have the potential to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy future, including a utility-scale battery storage integrator, an EV charging provider, and a multi-family smart home automation platform. FirstEnergy is in the process of reviewing the EIP Fund II portfolio companies to determine those that could be a good fit for future testing and deployment.

This marks FirstEnergy’s second investment with EIP. In July, FirstEnergy became a partner in EIP’s Elevate Future Fund, which is focused on expanding venture capital access and opportunities for underrepresented sustainable energy entrepreneurs. To date, the fund has made investments in several promising startup companies, including a web-based platform for on-demand repair of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and a youth transportation solution for schools, government agencies and families.

FirstEnergy’s investments in EIP funds were coordinated through the company’s Emerging Technologies organization, which is developing an internal culture of innovation on many levels to explore and research technologies that provide cost-effective value for customers.