Southern Company Honored with EEIs 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for Puerto Rico Power Restoration Following Hurricane Maria

Originally Published by Southern Company.

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented Southern Company with the association’s special 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for Puerto Rico Power Restoration for its contributions to the unprecedented emergency power restoration mission in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The devastating Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, impacting all critical infrastructure, damaging at least 80 percent of the island’s energy grid, and leaving all island residents without power.


Electric companies from the mainland that provided mutual assistance to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) faced incredibly challenging and complex restoration work because extensive portions of Puerto Rico’s energy grid are in rugged, mountainous terrain that has little or no road access. Getting crews and equipment to Puerto Rico also was much more complicated and time-intensive than deploying mutual assistance in the mainland, and it required extensive coordination among responding companies.

Nearly 60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities committed crews, equipment, and/or materials to the emergency power restoration mission. Overall, approximately 3,000 industry lineworkers and support personnel were involved in the restoration effort on the island.

On May 22, PREPA announced that power had been restored to 99 percent of its customers across the island who can receive electricity. This is a significant milestone that was reached by PREPA and its restoration partners, including FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, and industry mutual assistance crews. The resources, equipment, and people sent from the mainland, including those from Southern Company subsidiaries PowerSecure, Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power greatly accelerated the restoration process.

Assets from across the entire Southern Company system were deployed in this unprecedented restoration effort. PowerSecure began working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early days of the response. Equipment and crews from each of Southern Company’s four electric operating companies Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power joined the mutual assistance effort and shipped hundreds of trucks bucket trucks, digger derricks, pickups and more to the island via barge. Southern Company system personnel replaced thousands of power poles to help restore power to tens of thousands of customers in Puerto Rico in extremely challenging conditions and over difficult terrain.

“The power restoration effort in Puerto Rico was a massive and unprecedented mission, and electric companies from across the country, including Southern Company, responded to the call for help,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The electric power industry pulled together with one goal in mind, to restore power to the people of Puerto Ricoit truly was one team, one mission. Southern Company is deserving of this recognition for providing tremendous support to PREPA and our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

“On behalf of the entire Southern Company team, it is an honor to receive this recognition,” said Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Southern Company is proud of the efforts and dedication of our personnel who took extended time away from their families to assist the citizens of Puerto Rico. The enormous commitment and hard work shown throughout our company and the entire industry was paramount in restoring Puerto Rico’s energy grid.”

Latest News

AOC celebrates a victory in Among Us during her Twitch stream

AOC Livestreamed ‘Among Us’ on Twitch to Encourage Everyone (but Particularly Young People) to Vote

New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is stepping up Democratic efforts to make sure young voters are prepared when heading to the polls on Election Day, especially in light of COVID-19. On Oct. 21, 2020, AOC livestreamed on Twitch to engage with the younger demographic that frequents the video game-centric…

Black Lives Matter face mask for preventing spread of COVID-19

BLM T-shirts and Trump Masks Cause Uproar at Early Polling Locations; New Credit Cards Allow Trans Individuals to Use Preferred Name; and More

BLM T-shirts and Trump masks cause uproar at early polling locations. Voters’ choice of clothing when heading to the polls in Florida and Tennessee has begun making headlines across the country. The Washington Post reported that Miami police officer Daniel Ubeda has come under fire for wearing a Trump-endorsing face…

Close-up image of COVID-19 virus

Black and Latinx Individuals Increasingly Worried About Impact of COVID-19 on Career; Potential Spike in New Disabilities Due to Pandemic; and More

More than 50% of Blacks and Latinx individuals significantly worried about finances and career prospects due to pandemic. COVID-19 continues to be top of mind for most of the country, especially as cases appear to be worsening in our current third wave of the illness. But a new survey of…

Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.)

Rep. Jahana Hayes Attacked in Racist Campaign Town Hall; 1 in 4 Americans Unemployed According to New Data from Axios; and More

Racist trolls interrupt Zoom town hall hosted by Jahana Hayes, Connecticut’s first Black congresswoman. “I am not OK,” wrote Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) in a moving post describing a violent attack that took place at one of her recent campaign events. Ten minutes into the Zoom town hall for one…

reproductive, benefits, workplace

The Importance of Reproductive Benefits in the Workplace

With President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to take the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, the issue of reproductive rights has again become a hot button topic. While Ginsburg repeatedly voted against restrictions on birth control and abortion access, the historically conservative Barrett is expected to tip the…

domestic, violence, awareness

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resources

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month takes place in October to raise awareness about this critical social and public health issue. One out of every four women and one out of every 10 men will experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime according to…