TUCSON, AZ (January 11, 2001) - In recognition of exemplary efforts to restore power in the face of severe winter storms and a major hurricane, three electric utilities today received the Edison Electric Institute's annual awards for emergency response and assistance. EEI is the trade association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies, international affiliates, and associated worldwide.
CP&L, a Progress Energy company based in Raleigh, NC, and Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, located in Atlanta, both received EEI's Emergency Response Award, which recognizes companies for outstanding efforts to restore customer service knocked out by extreme weather conditions or other natural events. New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation received the Institute's Emergency Assistance Award, which honors companies that provide swift and major assistance to another electric utility in recovery efforts beyond their own service territories.
John W. Rowe, EEI chairman and co-CEO and president of Exelon Corporation of Chicago, presented the awards to company executives during the Institute's winter chief executives meeting, in Tucson.
EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn commended the companies for their "model performance during particularly harsh and trying circumstances. Our admiration and thanks go to the crews that worked long hours under extreme conditions."
Emergency Response Awards
CP&L was awarded for its response to a snowstorm of historic proportions that hit on January 24, affecting 20 percent of the company's service area and leaving more than 173,000 customers without power. Company crews battled two feet of snow, sleet and freezing temperatures in combating the storm's effects. Yet within 24 hours of activating its emergency preparedness plan, the utility had restored power to nearly half of its affected customers.
Thanks to CP&L's recent investments in technology, customer service representatives were able to provide accurate power restoration predictions to customers who called. CP&L received hundreds of complimentary letters from appreciative customers acknowledging the heroic efforts of the crews that battled sleet and freezing temperatures to restore service quickly and safely.
The utility employed some innovative techniques in its efforts, including storm modeling to identify necessary resources, a centralized damage assessment system, and centralized staging and logistical support.
CP&L also won an Emergency Response Award last year for its outstanding response to Hurricane Floyd, and in 1999, the award's first year in existence, for its efforts to battle devastation from Hurricane Bonnie.
Georgia Power was honored this year for its recovery efforts following Ice Storm 2000, which hit the Atlanta metropolitan and northern areas of Georgia in two waves, on January 23 and again on January 28. The company secured the services of more than 2,100 line and support personnel and succeeded in restoring service to over half of the 325,000 impacted customers within the first 24 hours.
Georgia Power was wrapping up these recovery efforts when a second storm hit the same areas. In preparation for the second wave, the company called upon its Mutual Assistance partners (neighboring utilities) to supply additional crews to support its efforts. A constant focus on safety in every aspect of the restoration resulted in complete power recovery with no significant injuries.
A key factor in Georgia Power's successful efforts was the effective deployment of its Storm Evaluation Restoration Procedures (SERP), which cover five functional areas of responsibility: Storm Director, Manpower, Intelligence, Logistics, and Communications. The company had added several new and innovative techniques to this protocol, which resulted in a successful and award-winning recovery.
Emergency Assistance Award
Entergy was recognized for its participation in helping Florida Power & Light Company respond to Hurricane Irene, in October 1999. Entergy's swift action came right on the heels of another major recovery effort the previous month, during which it sent crews to assist five other utilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd (an achievement that won Entergy a 1999 Emergency Assistance Award).
Devastation from Hurricane Irene resulted in service interruptions to 1.7 million customers, requiring a massive work force to repair the damage caused by fallen tree limbs and power lines. Upon receiving FPL's request for assistance, Entergy immediately mobilized 200 line
and support personnel to southeastern Florida, a two-day travel from the company's own service area.
Entergy has extensive experience moving large storm teams over great distances and, as a result, was exceptionally effective in lining up support from mechanics, caterers, transportation and supply chain specialists, safety coordinators, and logistics personnel. This efficiency resulted in high employee morale and an extremely successful assistance effort.
Entergy also won an Emergency Assistance Award last year for providing assistance to FPL, South Carolina Gas & Electric, CP&L, and Virginia Power in the wake of Hurricane Floyd. In 1999, Entergy received an Emergency Response Award for its efforts to combat damage from Hurricane Georges.
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The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of United States investor-owned electric utilities and industry affiliates and associates worldwide. Its domestic members generate approximately three-quarters of all the electricity generated by electric utilities in the country and service about 70 percent of all ultimate customers.