Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, was presented an Emergency Response Award by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for helping restore power following several large storms in 2020.
Emergency Response Awards recognize recovery and assistance efforts by EEI member companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events.
SWEPCO sent line and contract personnel to partnering electric utilities – including sister operating companies at AEP – following multiple hurricanes and another severe ice storm.
Over the course of these assignments in 2020, crews encountered all types of adverse weather, including flooding and high winds, extreme heat, varying terrains and dangerous wildlife. Not only were these conditions not ideal, crews also had to navigate the health and safety challenges posed by COVID-19 as the global pandemic continued.
“In the utility industry, providing mutual aid is not a matter of ‘if,’ but a matter of ‘when,’” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “After Hurricane Laura, 3,500 workers from our sister operating companies and other utilities, representing 15 states and Canada, helped SWEPCO employees get the lights back on for our customers. In turn, we helped other utilities across multiple states. Our crews will work long hours in difficult conditions to get the power restored. When strong teams come together, it’s incredible what we can accomplish.”