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WASHINGTON - The Edison Electric Institute recognized Alaska Electric Light and Power this week as a winner of the "Emergency Recovery Award" for its excellence in restoring its transmission infrastructure following two separate avalanches that struck within seven months of one another in 2008 and 2009.
Juneau first lost power April 16, 2008, when an avalanche struck ALE&P's 138-kv Snettisham transmission line, which extends 43 miles between Juneau and the Snettisham hydroelectric plant. The avalanche forced the AEL&P to rely on costly diesel generators for power for six weeks, but repaired several damaged towers a month ahead of schedule. The second avalanche occurred Jan. 9, 2009. AEL&P restored hydro power in three weeks, yet again restoring the Snettisham hydroelectric current through the line and into Juneau.
"AEL&P had enormous challenges following the devastation to their transmission system by way of two avalanches, but the utility set its course and succeeded remarkably," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "This company's hard work and thoughtful problem solving are exactly what we in the electric utility industry strive for following such natural events that disrupt service."
The "Emergency Recovery Award" is presented annually by EEI to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or natural events.
Founded in 1893, AEL&P is an investor-owned electric utility that provides electric service to approximately 16,000 customers in Juneau.