Southern Company is increasing our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico. The company, which has been working to restore power for the citizens of Puerto Rico since October via its subsidiary PowerSecure and sent an incident management team (IMT) to the island in December, is sending additional equipment and personnel to assist with the restoration efforts.
Barges filled with much-needed trucks, tools and equipment from Southern Company departed the Port of Chickasaw in Mobile, Alabama, on Jan. 3, and arrived in Puerto Rico on Jan. 15. Southern Company is exporting trucks and equipment to the island by way of Crimson Shipping Company.
Additionally, through the Mutual Assistance Network, several investor-owned electric companies, including Southern Company, that are members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), will deploy line crews to the island. Southern Company is sending personnel from each of the four electric operating companies – Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power. Those employees are scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico on Jan. 20, and are expected to deploy for approximately 45 days. The Southern Company resources will be assigned to the western region of Mayaguez, the same region that has been assigned to the IMT that arrived December and where PowerSecure resources continue to work.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) enlisted the Mutual Assistance Network for aid in accelerating power restoration efforts. EEI manages the Mutual Assistance Network, whereby EEI member companies, including Southern Company, may receive and provide assistance in the form of personnel and equipment to aid in restoring power.
The new personnel will work under the direction of the seven IMTs that were deployed to the island in early December and support PREPA regional directors. The new wave of personnel will add nearly 1,500 restoration workers and support personnel to the effort, bringing the total number of restoration workers in Puerto Rico to more than 5,500. Resources already working on the island include crews mobilized under the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contracts, PREPA crews and others.
Southern Company subsidiary PowerSecure was awarded a contract by USACE in coordination with the Jacksonville District in October 2017 for additional support in repairing the power grid in Puerto Rico’s southern and western regions. PowerSecure has extensive experience in storm restoration and has deployed crews for every named storm to hit the U.S. in the past eight years.
Since October, Southern Company 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.
Southern Company, along with several other utilities, is committed to successfully repairing the power grid and helping the people of Puerto Rico resume their lives.