EEI names Alliant Energy and ITC as 2020 Emergency Response Award Recipients
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (January 14, 2021) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) – the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies – has named Alliant Energy and ITC as recipients of EEI’s Emergency Response Award for working collaboratively to restore electricity following the August 10 derecho. Presented to EEI member companies, Emergency Response Awards recognize electric companies for their recovery and assistance efforts following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. The winners, chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, were announced today during EEI’s virtual Winter Board and Chief Executives Meeting.
“I congratulate and applaud Alliant Energy and ITC for demonstrating continued commitment to the customers and to the communities they serve,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “In the midst of a global pandemic and often in the most hazardous of conditions, the Alliant Energy and ITC teams worked around the clock to restore service safely and quickly. Both utilities are exceptionally deserving of this prestigious award.”
With an estimated $11 billion in damage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has categorized the derecho as the second costliest weather disaster of 2020 and the most-costly thunderstorm in U.S. history. The unprecedented storm severely impacted the heart of the Alliant Energy and ITC Midwest service territories in Iowa, causing major property destruction and widespread power outages. ITC Midwest sustained damage to more than 30 percent of its electric transmission system or approximately 2,100 circuit miles of lines, with 37 percent of the Alliant Energy distribution system impacted. In all, more than 256,000 Alliant Energy customers in 341 communities were initially without power.
Alliant Energy and ITC mobilized more than 2,400 utility workers from 25 states and Canada to supplement their normal crews and personnel to support the restoration effort. Between the two companies, more than 4,800 poles and structures were replaced. While utility crews worked day and night to restore all services, they also focused on staying safe and healthy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crews rose to the challenge to restore the transmission and distribution systems as quickly and safely as possible. Within eight days following the storm, ITC Midwest had restored transmission service to the distribution utilities it serves, while Alliant Energy had restored electric service to approximately 90 percent of its customers. By August 26, all Alliant Energy customers once again had power available.
“We truly appreciate the patience, support and kindness from our customers, as our crews worked tirelessly to restore services, as quickly and safely as possible,” stated Terry Kouba, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa Utility Company. “We are thankful for the mutual assistance we received from companies across the country and the partnership with ITC. Together, we focused on showing care for others and doing the right thing, while working at extraordinary speed to get the lights back on for all.”
“We are pleased to receive this industry award in recognition of our collaborative work with Alliant Energy to restore power following the devastating derecho,” said Dusky Terry, President of ITC Midwest. “The historic storm pushed the limits of the crews and operations teams from both utilities, but we at ITC are incredibly proud and thankful for their work to safely and quickly restore the electric transmission and distribution systems to get the lights back on for customers.”