National Grid earns EEI emergency recovery award

By David Bertola


National Grid received Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award for the company’s exceptional performance in restoring power after Winter Storm Quiana impacted more than 365,000 customers across upstate New York and New England.

The EEI award recognizes select companies’ efforts in power restoration after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Following an international nomination process, a panel of judges selects the winners. This is National Grid’s 21st emergency response award from EEI, an association that represents U.S. investor-owned utilities. Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“We are honored and grateful to have our restoration work recognized by Edison Electric Institute,” said Chris Kelly, National Grid’s Chief Operating Officer, Electric. “It’s testimony to the tremendous efforts by the women and men on National Grid’s team who are committed to excellence and to serving our customers.”

Winter Storm Quiana was marked by powerful wind gusts, rain, lake-effect snow and coastal flooding that began in western New York on Feb. 23 and lasted nearly two full days, moving eastward into Massachusetts on Feb. 24. National Grid restored 100 percent of service to customers within three days after the storm, dedicating 88,744 people hours to the recovery.

During the storm, hundreds of National Grid workers behind the scenes responded to customer calls and assisted in several areas including working closely with stakeholders, municipal leaders, logistics, procurement, and informational outreach via social media and traditional media.

“National Grid is deserving of this award for its efforts to restore service quickly and safely in the Northeast after Winter Storm Quiana,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The dedication of National Grid’s crews reflects our industry’s commitment to our customers, and I thank them for their tireless work.”

In the aftermath of Winter Storm Quiana, a Fredonia electric operations crew came upon an overturned car with a woman trapped inside. The men who comprised the crew – Charlie Meli, Ray Campbell and Tom Coughlin – were recognized for their quick thinking to rescue the woman when they received Life Saving Awards at the Year End Town Hall meeting on June 4 in Buffalo.

National Grid New York President John Bruckner, far left and vice president of New York electric operations Keith McAfee, far right, present – from left to right – Charlie Meli, Ray Campbell and Tom Coughlin with Life Saving Awards.