This news release was sent from Edison Electric Institute.
SAN DIEGO – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today presented Alabama Power with the association’s special 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for Puerto Rico Power Restoration for its contributions to the unprecedented emergency power restoration mission following Hurricane Maria. The devastating Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, impacting all critical infrastructure, damaging at least 80 percent of the island’s energy grid and leaving all island residents without power.
Electric companies from the mainland that provided mutual assistance to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) faced incredibly challenging and complex restoration work because extensive portions of Puerto Rico’s energy grid are in rugged, mountainous terrain that has little or no road access. Getting crews and equipment to Puerto Rico also was much more complicated and time-intensive than deploying mutual assistance in the mainland, and required extensive coordination among responding companies.
Nearly 60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities committed crews, equipment and materials to the emergency power restoration mission. Overall, approximately 3,000 industry lineworkers and support personnel were involved in the restoration effort on the island.
On May 22, PREPA announced that power had been restored to 99 percent of its customers across the island who can receive electricity. This is a significant milestone that was reached by PREPA and its restoration partners, including FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, and industry mutual assistance crews. The resources, equipment and people sent from the mainland, including lineworkers and support personnel sent by Alabama Power, greatly accelerated the restoration process.
“The power restoration effort in Puerto Rico was a massive and unprecedented mission, and electric companies from across the country, including Alabama Power, responded to the call for help,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The electric power industry pulled together with one goal in mind, to restore power to the people of Puerto Rico. It truly was one team, one mission. Alabama Power is deserving of this recognition for providing tremendous support to PREPA and our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Our members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.