To help restore electric service to communities after catastrophic emergencies or significant natural events, 28 utilities – including Duquesne Light Company – have now committed to participate in the Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration or RESTORE program, which establishes a proactive approach to providing critical equipment for utilities that need additional resources during disaster recovery. The program establishes a binding agreement between participating utilities.
The national importance of a strategic transformer reserve has been highlighted by the Department of Energy’s Strategic Transformer Reserve Report to Congress earlier this year. Newly formed at the time of that DOE Report, the RESTORE program is now a fully functional collaborative effort that takes advantage of regional cooperation and is consistent with DOE’s recommendation supporting voluntary industry-based options to address the reserve.
“Duquesne Light is proud to join this group of neighboring utilities to provide equipment during the greatest times of need,” said John Hilderbrand II, Managing Director of Engineering and Programs. “It’s the unity, collaboration and teamwork of programs like RESTORE, as well as our participation in the mutual assistance, that put customers first and make our industry special.”
RESTORE was founded in 2016 by Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU), PPL Electric Utilities, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Southern Company to identify and share spare transformers and other transmission equipment, which will then be available for purchase by other participants in the event of a major disaster within their service area.
“Utility cooperation and the ability to call on additional resources play a critical role during times of natural disasters and other emergencies that can impact our electric transmission system,” said John Lucas, Chair of RESTORE’s Operating Committee and Southern Company General Manager of Transmission Policy and Services. “Launching the RESTORE program, coupled with existing industry programs and each utility’s internal resources, further strengthens total grid resiliency for the region and electricity customers.”
The program has now expanded to include 20 additional participating utilities: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, American Transmission Company LLC, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., six Duke Energy utilities, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Entergy Corporation, Florida Power and Light Company, ITC Midwest, ITC Transmission, METC, Santee Cooper, and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.
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