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December 2020

Top Story
Top Story
Electric Power Industry Responds to SolarWinds Cyber Breach

Following the discovery of a cybersecurity vulnerability in the SolarWinds Orion platform earlier this month, the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC)—which serves as the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power industry on efforts to prepare for, and respond to, national-level disasters or threats to critical infrastructure—issued the following statement:

“The electric power industry takes all vulnerabilities and threats to the energy grid and our supply chains very seriously, including the latest SolarWinds Orion Platform vulnerability that cuts across many sectors.

“The ESCC is highly engaged and already has conducted situational awareness calls on this threat. The Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center also has provided potential indicators of compromise and other technical data that electric companies, public power utilities, electric cooperatives, and independent power producers in North America are utilizing to run comprehensive diagnostics of their systems to identify and to remediate any threat exposure. This information sharing is representative of the strong industry-government partnership that the ESCC embodies and is vital to guarding the energy grid from all possible threats.”

Protecting the nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable and affordable supply of energy are top priorities for America’s electric companies. Learn more about how electric companies safeguard the energy grid on EEI’s website and the ESCC website.



Happening Now
Happening Now
Prioritizing the Energy Industry’s Mission-Essential Workers for COVID-19 Vaccines

​With the approval and release of the first COVID-19 vaccines, EEI joined a broad coalition of other energy industry trade associations and labor unions in appealing to state and local government officials, calling upon them to “designate our mission-essential workers as high priority for voluntary access to initial inoculation.”

“These employees are highly specialized and cannot work from home or in isolation from others on the job site,” the energy and labor groups said in a joint letter. “The work they perform is critical to public health and safety, as well as our economic and national security.”

Read more in the partners’ letter​.



In the News
In the News
EEI Welcomes New FERC Commissioners

In November, EEI congratulated Mark Christie and Allison Clements on their Senate confirmations for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

“EEI and our member electric companies thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and members of the Senate for confirming Mark Christie and Allison Clements as FERC commissioners,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Both incoming Commissioners Christie and Clements bring valuable state and federal policy experience and expertise to FERC.”

“I have known and worked with both Mark Christie and Allison Clements for many years, and, given their knowledge and experience, I know they will serve the nation well as our energy grid undergoes a major transition,” said EEI Executive Vice President, Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs, Phil Moeller. 

Read more in EEI’s statement​.



What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Supporting the Military’s Mission

​When Dominion Energy took charge of the electricity distribution grid at the U.S. Army’s Ft. Myer base across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital in 2007, the electric company realized that there was much work to be done to ensure that the installation had a reliable and resilient system that could support its mission.

Getting this energy infrastructure up to 21s​t-century electric power industry standards is a matter of national security. That is why EEI member companies and the U.S. Department of Defense have partnered on energy grid contracts at more than 60 installations across the country.

Read more in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.


What We're Watching
Thank You to the Heroes of Our Front Lines
What We're Watching

In Case You Missed It
Photo courtesy Entergy.
In Case You Missed It
Rebuilding After Hurricane Laura

Entergy Responds to an Unprecedented Storm Season

“Entergy and our customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are no strangers to severe weather,” writes Entergy’s David Lewis in Electric Perspectives. “We thought we had faced it all—from ice storms and tornadoes to unnamed tropical disturbances and 2005’s mighty Hurricane Katrina.

“Then came the historic 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and Hurricane Laura, the strongest storm to hit Louisiana since 1856.

“Laura left an unprecedented path of destruction, causing more than 900,000 Entergy customers to lose power. Some of them remained in the dark for as long as 35 days, as a workforce of at least 26,000 men and women from 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada rebuilt the electric system that Mother Nature had torn apart.”

Read more.

Cleco Power’s Hurricane Three-peat

“Hurricane Laura, the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana since 1856, devastated southwest Louisiana and tore a path through the entire state,” Cleco Power’s Jennifer Cahill writes in Electric Perspectives​

“Along Laura’s path of destruction was much of Cleco Power’s service territory, including its headquarters in Pineville, Louisiana, located roughly 150 miles north of the storm’s landfall.”

Read more.

Preventing COVID in Close Quarters

“Following Hurricane Laura, Shreveport, Louisiana-based Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) focused on enforcing COVID-19-related safety practices to prevent the spread of the disease,” writes Bailey Cultice in Electric Perspectives

“Shreveport was on the evacuation route for Hurricane Laura. South Louisianans evacuated to our area, tying up all the hotel rooms where our workers would have normally stayed,” said Malcolm Smoak, president and chief operations officer, SWEPCO. “Laura was the first time SWEPCO implemented base camps to house employees and visiting workers.”


Delivering the Future
Photo courtesy ComEd
Delivering the Future
ComEd Installs Smart Kiosks in Chicago Neighborhood

​Commonwealth Edison, an Exelon company, has installed two touchless smart kiosks in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, providing residents easy access to a Wi-Fi hotspot and important information. This installation is part of ComEd’s Community of the Future initiative, which aims to deploy smart and sustainable energy solutions in urban communities. 

“ComEd works to find new ways to connect our customers to information and resources that power their daily lives,” said Dr. Shay Bahramirad, vice president of engineering and smart grid, ComEd. “Similar to other smart energy solutions we have piloted in Bronzeville, such as an electric car service and community microgrid, these innovations focus on improving the lives of the people we are privileged to serve.”

Read more on EEI’s Delivering the Future website​.​


Inside EEI
Inside EEI
Nominations Accepted for 2021 Edison Award

​EEI is accepting nominations through the end of January for the 2021 Edison Award, the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor. The designation recognizes distinguished leadership, innovation, and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all. Each year, the award is presented to one U.S. and one international electric company.

Southern Company was selected for the 2020 Edison Award in recognition of its energy storage system initiatives, including the development, commissioning, and operation of the Energy Storage Research Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The 2020 International Edison Award was presented to ATCO—for developing state-of-the-art energy infrastructure in North America, and for pioneering models for consultation and engagement, long-term relationships, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples—and to Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité for accelerating access to electricity for Côte d’Ivoire’s most vulnerable population. 

Nomination information is available at www.eei.org​.


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