Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Gulf Power Company were recognized on Friday for their assistance and recovery efforts following the 2020 hurricane season.
FPL received the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for the support provided following Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, Sally and Delta. FPL made its presence felt in 2020, sending thousands of employees to New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas, and the Panhandle to help with recovery efforts. FPL also deployed more than 1,500 employees and contractors across the Southeastern U.S. to provide mutual assistance following Hurricane Zeta. Five times during the unprecedented hurricane season, FPL provided mutual assistance to other utilities directly impacted by hurricanes.
“Mutual assistance is a critical aspect of efficient power restoration following natural disasters,” said Manny Miranda, FPL senior vice president of power delivery. “Our crews are the best at what they do and to be recognized as such is a great honor. We appreciate the support we’re provided following hurricanes that affect FPL’s service area, so we feel it is a duty to assist others in their time of need.”
Gulf Power, a division of FPL that serves customers in Northwest Florida, also received awards for their hurricane assistance. Gulf Power received EEI Emergency Recovery Award for efforts in restoring power following Hurricane Sally in late September. Expected to make landfall in Louisiana, the Category 2 hurricane made a sudden, overnight turn to the east with the eye wall striking the Pensacola area with 105 mph winds. Over 285,000 customers lost power, but thanks to the efforts made by Gulf Power, power was restored to most customers in less than five days.
The company also received the EEI Emergency Assistance Award for 2020 Mutual Assistance thanks to their restoration teams assisting other utilities on several occasions in 2020, including Alabama in April following severe storms, two trips to Louisiana following Hurricanes Laura and Delta, and additional assistance in New Jersey and Florida.
“The 2020 storm season was incredibly busy, and our teams did an outstanding job, both restoring power here for our own Gulf Power customers, as well as helping other utilities,” said Mike Spoor, Gulf Power vice president of power delivery. “We had the added challenge of working storms differently due to the pandemic, but everyone was resilient and worked safely. These awards show that our Gulf Power team is trained, ready and a leader in storm restoration, and that’s why we are often called upon to help others.”
EEI is the association that represents all investor-owned electric companies. The winners of each award were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s virtual Winter Board and Chief Executives Meeting.
“Over the past year, many of our nation’s electric companies and their customers have endured historic storms and wildfires and other significant weather-related events,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Working around the clock to restore power safely and quickly to customers and deploying mutual assistance crews to support impacted companies are hallmarks of the electric power industry. When disasters strike, impacted and neighboring electric companies are quick to assess damage and to respond and assist with restoration.”
To view the full press release, click here.