KISSIMMEE – KUA was one of 16 Florida public power utilities recently recognized by the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) with a Restoring Communities Award. The award recognizes public power utilities for their exemplary power restoration efforts to their own communities and for providing or receiving mutual aid following significant weather events or when fellow public power communities were in need of extra assistance.
Florida public power utilities were honored for their efforts to restore power quickly and safely when called on in 2023. This not only included providing mutual aid assistance following the unprecedented landfall of Hurricane Idalia in the Big Bend region, but for other weather and non-weather-related emergencies. The 2023 Restoring Communities Awards also recognized public power utilities providing supplemental crews to fellow utilities for large-scale projects like infrastructure upgrades.
KUA sent 12 linemen and a convoy of vehicles and supplies to assist with the restoration of power in Tallahassee. Crews departed on August 30, 2023 after the City of Tallahassee had more than 27,000 customers without power following Hurricane Idalia.
“Lending a helping hand to one another goes to the very core of what it means to be a public power community,” said Brian Horton, KUA President and General Manager. “Sometimes we are the ones to send out a call for assistance and sometimes we are the ones answering. Knowing that a fellow public power utility will always be there for you when needed is very reassuring and helps us ensure we are providing our customers with reliable service.”
Mutual aid agreements enable electric utilities to call on each other for skilled emergency workers and supplies. Public power utilities across the country benefit from the strong network of mutual assistance partners through the American Public Power Association. These connections have created a reliable system where member utilities both request and offer assistance when there’s a need.
“A strong network of in-state and out-of-state mutual aid support, along with millions of dollars in continuous investments into their electric grids and system infrastructure, has led to fewer outages and faster restoration times for Florida public power communities, often surpassing service reliability metrics of other utilities in Florida,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “Thanks to all of our utilities for the work they do each day to strengthen their systems and the extra hours they put in to get the power back on after weather or other emergency events. Also, my sincere admiration and appreciation goes to the utilities that offered support to other FMEA member utilities during the completion of their significant resilience and reliability projects. Our congratulations to KUA and all the award recipients recognized.”