EEI's "Emergency Recovery Award" is presented annually to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI's winter CEO meeting here Wednesday.
Two powerful storms that struck Ameren's service territory July 19 and 21 left the company with the largest outage in its history, and its employees responded with an unparalleled effort to get the power back on. The company dispatched more than 5,300 employees and contractors -- including utility crews from companies in 12 other states -- and those crews worked up to 18 hours a day in 100-degree heat and other trying conditions in a week-long effort to restore electricity to affected customers.
Ameren activated a then-newly revised storm plan quickly and effectively, swiftly deploying resources and immediately communicating with outside organizations for support and assistance. In the course of the massive restoration effort, the company marshaled the equivalent of six months' of utility supplies, located 15,000 hotel or dormitory rooms, served 55,000 meals and cleaned 1,200 loads of laundry.
"Ameren and its employees are to be commended for such an outstanding effort in the face of unprecedented damage," said EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn. "Their effort was immediate and robust, and their overall performance is a tribute to the electric industry and its people."
Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of United States investor- owned electric utilities and industry affiliates and associates worldwide. Its domestic members generate approximately three-quarters of all the electricity generated by electric utilities in the country and serve about 70 percent of all ultimate customers in the nation.