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MINNEAPOLIS – Xcel Energy was among utilities honored Thursday by the Edison Electric Institute with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for outstanding efforts in mutual-aid assistance for power restoration work after Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and the Super Derecho storm that brought crews to Ohio last summer.
The award is presented annually to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electricity service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and awards were presented during EEI’s chief executives meeting.
Xcel Energy assisted two utility companies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the East Coast in late October and early November. The hurricane hit utility infrastructure hard from New York to the Carolinas, leaving behind extensive damage and debris, complicating accessibility to restoration sites.
Utilities requesting aid from Xcel Energy were Long Island Power Authority in New York and American Electric Power for West Virginia.
Xcel Energy sent more than 230 employees and contractors from all four operating companies: Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, Northern States Power Co.-Wisconsin, Public Service Co. of Colorado and Southwestern Public Service Co. The Xcel Energy crews worked a total of 20 days, including travel time, to restore electric service to the customers of LIPA on Long Island and AEP in West Virginia.
In June and July, Xcel Energy sent 72 employees and contractors from Minnesota and Wisconsin to help AEP restore power to more than 680,000 customers in Ohio, after violent 80 mph straight-line winds cut a wide path of destruction from Illinois to the East Coast in a storm known as Super Derecho. That contingent put in 10 days.
“We are honored to receive this award from EEI recognizing our employees’ efforts to help AEP and LIPA restore service to their customers,” said Kent Larson, senior vice president, Xcel Energy Operations. “We are also extremely pleased that our employees worked safely for more than 31,678 man-hours in conditions ranging from heat and humidity to rain, ice and snow.
“Xcel Energy is viewed as premier partner in mutual-aid events, providing resource deployment of linemen, safety personnel, fleet services and management. A well defined and continuously refined process, the ability to mobilize quickly, a professional workforce and the ability to work safely under difficult conditions often result in other utilities specifically requesting assistance from Xcel Energy.”
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, with operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
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Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.