EEI AWARDS APPALACHIAN POWER AND KENTUCKY POWER WITH ‘EMERGENCY RECOVERY AWARD’ FOLLOWING SNOW STORM

Provided to HNN & Edited from News Release

WASHINGTON (March 2, 2011) – The Edison Electric Institute today honored American Electric Power subsidiaries Appalachian Power and Kentucky Power with the association’s “Emergency Recovery Award” for outstanding efforts in restoring electric service following a massive snow and ice storm in late December 2009 that devastated both companies’ service territories.

The award is presented annually to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize an outstanding response in restoring electric service following 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 Spring CEO meeting.

On December 18, as much as two feet of heavy, wet snow blanketed Kentucky Power’s entire electric service area, as well as the majority of Appalachian Power’s service area. Snow weighed down branches and trees, causing extensive damage to power facilities and widespread electric service disruption. By the following day, Appalachian Power peaked at 220,000 outages and Kentucky Power at around 80,000.

Prior to the storm, however, AEP initiated its Distribution Service Restoration Plan, which allowed employees to prepare for extensive damage and a multi-day response, and provided an opportunity to organize mutual assistance crews.

The AEP transmission system running throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky experienced 68 transmission circuit outages affecting 110 substations – a most unprecedented figure. The damage required every available resource to efficiently restore power. Helicopters were utilized to assess the hardest hit areas, and while crews worked to remove fallen trees and traverse impassable roads in order to gain access to the damaged electric infrastructure.

Mutual assistance crews, amounting to 6,250 lineworkers, tree cutters and other specialists, came from over 16 states to restore power. Crews worked through Christmas, and tallied 741,100 man-hours.

“Appalachian Power and Kentucky Power were each rocked by the same sweeping snow storm, yet despite devastation to their electric systems, the companies forged through the whiteout to restore power to their customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The response by AEP was unprecedented and is a great example of how this industry makes every effort to ensure that its customers have electric service.”

Kentucky Power is an operating unit of American Electric Power and provides electricity to approximately 175,000 customers in all or part of 20 Eastern Kentucky counties. Appalachian Power has almost 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). Both companies are units of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

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The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S.
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