The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today presented Xcel Energy with the association’s “Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding restoration efforts after Winter Storm Jupiter hit the Texas Panhandle in January 2017.
The award is presented twice annually to EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore service to customers after severe weather conditions cause service disruptions. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Annual Convention in Boston.
Extensive damage from freezing rain and high winds caused 58,000 customers to lose service in the northeastern counties of the Texas Panhandle following Winter Storm Jupiter. Xcel Energy’s crews worked quickly to repair damage to more than 7,500 structures, including 43 miles of a distribution line which serves four rural communities. Crews devoted more than 92,800 hours to restore service. In total, 1,350 poles, 3,700 cross-arms and 6,000 insulators were replaced. Transmission construction crews also repaired damaged transmission lines, fiber-optic lines and transmission structures.
“The tireless work of Xcel Energy crews to restore service following Winter Storm Jupiter exemplifies our industry’s commitment to customer service and safety,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The courageous and dedicated Xcel Energy crews who faced hazardous conditions are greatly deserving of this recognition.”
David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas, said Winter Storm Jupiter was memorable not just for the hardships, but also the kindness shown to close to 1,000 Xcel Energy employees and contractors who responded.
“Our communities went above and beyond to accommodate such a large influx of people during a stressful time,” Hudson said. “They provided us locations to stage our crews, businesses donated food, and we even had a group of residents provide a dessert buffet. This meant a great deal to the crews who traveled long distances to help.”