SCOTTSDALE — Hydro One employees did their part to help Florida recover from Hurricane Irma last September — an outstanding effort that earned the provincial utility an Emergency Assistance Award from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Jan. 10 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A number of local workers also took part in the endeavour, travelling to the sunshine state in a convoy of Hydro One trucks to re-establish power connections.
“Hydro One has a long history of responding to help others in need. We have a highly skilled workforce specialized in both distribution and transmission systems. Our crews left their families and travelled over 2,500 km to safely assist with the restoration efforts and bring power back to the many homes and businesses across Florida,” says Greg Kiraly, Chief Operating Officer, Hydro One. “We would like to thank the Edison Electric Institute for awarding Hydro One with this honour and for recognizing the outstanding efforts of our employees.”
The award is presented to EEI member companies to recognize an outstanding response in assisting other electric companies in power restoration efforts following severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process and the awards were presented during EEI’s Winter Board and CEO Meeting in Scottsdale.
On September 9, 2017, Hydro One received an official request for assistance from Florida Power and Light. Within 24 hours, 175 employees and over 80 vehicles and pieces of equipment were mobilized and headed south across the border. Hydro One’s skilled line maintainers, foresters, mechanics and support staff spent fourteen days travelling to and working in Florida, helping to restore power to the millions of residents left in the dark following Hurricane Irma’s destruction.
“When disaster impacts a region, electric companies from across the nation are called on to assist impacted companies in need – mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “When Hurricane Irma struck, Hydro One answered the call to help. Hydro One’s assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action.”
Hydro One has reciprocal agreements in place with North American utilities to provide assistance during significant power outages.
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies that provide electricity for the majority of the U.S. population — some 220 million Americans.