EDA and New York Power Authority Formalize Mutual Help Agreement

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Dec 6, 2019

With extreme weather events becoming an increasingly common occurrence, the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have formalized arrangements for mutual assistance to restore power after outages, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

“Tornadoes, flooding and ice storms have all caused power outages in recent years within the service territories served by our local hydro utility members,” notes EDA President & CEO Teresa Sarkesian. “The effort needed to get the lights back on quickly can sometimes be massive. And our members, and their counterparts in neighbouring states, have a long-standing practice of sending lineworkers and trucks from un-impacted areas to help.”

“For our part at the EDA, we’re always pleased to help facilitate that. And we’re glad to formalize that commitment to mutual assistance with the NYPA through this MOU,” Sarkesian says. “When a utility is running full-out on restoration efforts, having some extra horsepower from outside its service territory can make a material difference to restoration times.”

Cross-border calls for assistance have risen in frequency in recent years, in tandem with the increase in extreme weather events. Parts of New York state were hit by severe storms no less than three times in a recent one-month period, leading the NYPA to ask the EDA for its help in requesting and coordinating assistance from Ontario utilities.

The two parties to the MOU have now formally committed to extend such assistance when feasible, creating a clearer pathway towards collaborative restoration efforts for the benefit of electricity customers in both Ontario and New York. “With storms seemingly becoming more severe and frequent, it is critical that we’re unified and prepared to recover from them quickly,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.

“These new mutual aid protocols improve the ability of NYPA to respond effectively and efficiently during emergency situations and establishes the groundwork for NYPA to support our neighbours to the north in Ontario.” The New York Power Authority is the largest state power organization in the United States, with 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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