Southernmost utilities helping public power communities in wake of Hurricane Ida: Staff from MEUW have been taking part in Mutual Aid Working Group calls organized by American Public Power Association (APPA) to monitor the need for crews to help restore power after Hurricane Ida came ashore in Louisiana on Sunday, Aug. 29. Even though local authorities estimate power will be out for as much as one week, resources from Wisconsin public power utilities will not be needed because so many other, closer utilities are already providing mutual aid.
Louisiana and Mississippi, the states hardest hit by Ida, are home to a total of nearly 50 public power utilities. Workers and equipment from public power utilities in nine states were strategically pre-positioned in various locations across the southern U.S. in the days leading up to Ida’s arrival. Many of the crews, including those from North Carolina and Florida, have been recipients of mutual aid themselves, and are typically first in line to provide resources and support to “pay back” the utilities that have helped them recover from previous hurricane damage.
News coverage has focused on the outages affecting New Orleans, La. All eight transmission lines that deliver power into the New Orleans area were knocked out of service, causing a load imbalance that resulted in generation in the area coming offline. The city is served by Entergy, an investor-owned utility (IOU), which also happens to have its headquarters in New Orleans. The IOUs’ national trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), has mobilized some 25,000 workers from 32 states, including Wisconsin, to provide mutual aid assistance.
Updated Statistical Data now available: Wisconsin’s 81 municipal electric utilities served more than 302,000 customers, had $674.6 million in revenues, and paid their municipalities nearly $23.9 million in lieu of taxes last year. Those are a few highlights from the updated statistical data MEUW has compiled based on recent reporting to the Public Service Commission. You can access the complete data sheet here. MEUW puts together this summary using manual processes and data entry that may cause some inaccuracies. If you discover any problem with the information listed for your utility, please contact Mallory Conradt at (608) 478-2528.
Sign up to attend one-day chainsaw and tree-trimming workshop: MEUW is hosting a series of one-day workshops focusing on the maintenance and safe operation of chainsaws as well the basics of safe tree trimming. Each workshop will be conducted by certified arborist David Vincent, and will take place at six different sites across the state. Each session will take place on a date in October, with training beginning at 8:00 a.m. and wrapping up by 3:00 p.m. daily; lunch is provided. Cost is $235 per person for MEUW members/communities. Space is limited to the first 30 registrants at each site, and some locations are filling up quickly. To learn more, click here.
Utility leaders encouraged to register for October Retreat: MEUW is organizing a two-day event to bring together those who are “in charge” of their community’s electric utility operations. The goal is to build connections, share leading practices, and help to strengthen public power. The gathering is Oct. 12 and 13 at the Lodge in Mauston; full details are here. All MEUW member utilities are encouraged to send at least one person to have their voice heard.
Don’t miss out on our member communications: MEUW is now using Mailchimp to distribute mass emails to members, including MEUW Weekly. In an effort to outsmart spammers, some e-mail servers may occasionally mark messages from Mailchimp as “spam” or “junk.” If you or a co-worker haven’t received emails from MEUW in recent weeks, please check your “spam” or “junk” folder and set your settings to receive messages from @meuw.org. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to a new third-party distribution process. If you have questions or experience any issues, please call the MEUW Office at (608) 837-2263.