FirstEnergy Corp.has announced that it plans to invest an additional $2.8 billion over four years to expand its previously announced "Energizing the Future" transmission initiative, with the main focus of the initial construction effort being the 69 kV transmission power lines and substations in the Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison and Penn Power areas.  The program is expected to be expanded into other FirstEnergy service territories during the next several years. Overall, the new transmission projects are designed to increase FirstEnergy's load serving capability in areas where future economic growth is anticipated, particularly in Ohio's shale gas regions; improve reliability of service; create more flexibility to restore service following storms; reduce line losses; and lower the company's overall transmission maintenance costs. Many of the projects -- including new or rebuilt high-voltage power lines, new substations, and the installation of specialized voltage regulating equipment -- are needed to help support system reliability as coal-fired power plants in the region are deactivated based on the U.S. EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and other environmental rules.