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Duke Energy Partners with TVA to Better Serve Customers

​Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the electric power industry, and Duke Energy and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have enhanced their cooperation through a partnership that will greatly benefit customers, particularly during hurricane season.

The mutual aid agreement will allow each company to use the other’s resources during emergencies. This includes line crews, helicopters, and equipment. Because their two headquarters are only about 250 miles from each other, the agreement will help ensure faster response times to repair systems   damaged by severe weather.

“As neighbors, we can call on each other for help to better serve our customers,” said Buddy Rogers, Duke Energy vice president for transmission construction, maintenance, and vegetation. “Energy powers our lives. It is one of life’s essential services, and we sometimes forget that until the power goes out. This partnership, coupled with our many other partnerships, will help us get the lights and AC back on safely and quickly—helping our customers return to normalcy.”

As a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, Duke Energy can pull resources from 20 states. Now, thanks to the partnership with TVA, additional resources are even closer. 

“This partnership strengthens our response capabilities no matter the situation,” said Bob Dalrymple, TVA senior vice president of transmission and power supply. “Like Duke Energy, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to ensure quality of life for the millions who rely on the low-cost, cleaner energy we supply.”

Duke Energy and TVA formed the partnership following lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The hurricane skirted Florida’s coast, flooding St. Augustine’s historic downtown. The nearly five-foot storm surge on the St. Johns River at Mayport was also the highest recorded in more than a century. Duke Energy Florida restored nearly 300,000 customer outages in 72 hours. 

In the Carolinas, the category-1 storm was the fifth-worst to hit Duke Energy Carolinas’ and Duke Energy Progress’ territories. Damage was similar in scale and severity to Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989. More than 800 poles broke. More than 100 substations sustained damage and some transmission infrastructure had to be completely rebuilt due to unexpected flooding.

Duke Energy and TVA manage two of the largest transmission systems in the country, including a combined 49,000 miles of transmission lines, 400,000 steel and wood towers, and 3,300 transmission substations. These systems deliver energy from power plants to millions of residential, commercial, and industrial customers as well as to municipal utilities and regional electric cooperatives across the southeastern United States.