ATLANTA, Jan. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company announced today that lineworkers and support staff from each of Southern Company's four electric operating companies – Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power – will be deployed to Puerto Rico. Personnel are scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico today, Jan. 20, to help restore power safely and as quickly as possible to areas impacted by Hurricane Maria as part of an industry mutual assistance effort coordinated through the Edison Electric Institute.
As part of this effort, on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd, Southern Company launched a barge from the Port of Chickasaw in Mobile, Alabama, filled with trucks, tools and support equipment. That vessel arrived in Puerto Rico on Jan. 15 in order for those much-needed supplies to be ready for the additional lineworkers and staff.
"Southern Company is proud to increase our assistance to the citizens of Puerto Rico," said Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "In the face of this enormous challenge, our employees are dedicated to the effort and determined to restore and repair Puerto Rico's energy grid."
Southern Company system lineworkers and staff will work under the direction of the 10-person Incident Management Team (IMT) Southern Company deployed in early December to support Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) regional directors. That Southern Company IMT is one of seven such teams assigned to seven regions of Puerto Rico under coordination with PREPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new wave of personnel will join the IMT in continued support of restoration in the Mayaguez region on the western side of Puerto Rico.
In addition to the IMT, Southern Company's Puerto Rico response includes 400 personnel from another Southern Company subsidiary, PowerSecure, Inc., who have been working in Puerto Rico since October under a contract with the USACE. The Southern Company system has been steadily involved in restoration efforts including; damage assessment, clearing debris, resetting poles, mobilizing equipment, providing temporary emergency power, ensuring adequate generation at power plants, and reinstalling and repairing transmission and distribution lines.
With this new wave of personnel, the total number of restoration workers in Puerto Rico will increase to more than 5,500. This includes crews such as those with PowerSecure mobilized under USACE contracts, PREPA's own resources, industry mutual assistance crews and others. Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the energy industry, playing a critical role in the restoration of the grid after major weather events. PowerSecure has extensive experience in storm restorations and has deployed crews for every named storm to hit the U.S. in the past eight years.
Southern Company remains committed to the people of Puerto Rico and to this massive, unprecedented restoration undertaking.
About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top energy companies in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
SOURCE Southern Company