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Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power earn industry award for assisting power restoration efforts after Hurricane Irma

From left to right, Chris Fleege, SVP-MP Operations, Tim Lauepple, Manager-Line Operations, Brad Oachs, SVP ALLETE & President Regulated Operations. Submitted

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today presented Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for their outstanding work assisting customers affected by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

The award is presented to EEI member companies to recognize an outstanding response in assisting other electric companies in power restoration efforts after service has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Winter Board and CEO Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Al Hodnik, ALLETE chairman, president and CEO, accepted the award on behalf of Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power.

Thirty-one lineworkers and support staff from MP and SWL&P spent two weeks in the Miami area in September helping Florida Power and Light restore power. The crews from Minnesota and Wisconsin earned praise from FP&L for their safe and efficient work in hot and humid conditions.

“When disaster impacts a region, electric companies from across the nation are called on to assist impacted companies in need — mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “When Hurricane Irma struck, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power answered the call to help. Their assistance to restore service to impacted customers is a terrific example of mutual assistance in action.”

Brad Oachs, senior vice president ALLETE and president of regulated operations, said, “We are proud to receive this award recognizing the work our Superior Water, Light and Power and Minnesota Power crews did in difficult conditions to restore power in Florida after Hurricane Irma. We understand the value of mutual aid to our industry, and we are pleased to help others get the lights back on as quickly as possible for their customers after a major event like Irma.”

ALLETE Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth.

From left to right, Troy Aune—Superintendent Gas & Water Distribution, Rob Sandstrom—Manager – Customer Excellence, Jon Allen—Large Crew Leader – Line, Davin Sherwood—Lead Lineworker, Deb Amberg—President SWLP, Tim Horgan—Lineworker, Mike Kurkowski—Lineworker, Adam Kauppila—supervising engineer. Jon Allen and Davin Sherwood were part of the Florida restoration effort. Submitted