Chief Executive Officer:
Vice President, Engineering & Operations:
I’m excited to share some great news with our members. In January, almost exactly two years after the first storm hit our system, we received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for funding to move forward with the permanent repairs the system needs.
Repairs from the January 15, 2017, ice storm and the April 30, 2017, snow storm will be our primary focus over the next four years. We will have a lot of contractors in the area and will be keeping detailed records for FEMA.
We’ve been projecting this work and putting it into our rate base since 2017. We’re financially prepared for it and I hope any future rate impacts will be minimal. One of the great things about being approved for FEMA funding is that we are repairing our system to updated construction standards for 25 cents on the dollar.
After the ice storm in 2007, TCEC rebuilt the system with shorter spans between poles and thicker conductor (power lines). In 2012 and 2013, we again updated our standards for a more robust and reliable system. With the 2017 storms, rural areas that wouldn’t normally be rebuilt were destroyed and thus will be improved when these permanent repairs are made. This is a boon for both members and the cooperative.
As you can see from the map above, we’re rebuilding about 30 percent of our system with these storm repairs.
During the next four years, we expect to have approximately 30 contractor crews on site. This is about 150 extra people.
For safety reasons, please don’t approach contractors or TCEC crews while they’re working. We don’t want to distract them while they’re working on high voltage lines. If members have questions or concerns, I encourage them to call the office so we can meet to discuss them.
Some of the changes we’ve made to the construction standards include:
When revising our construction standards, we take into account affordability as well as reliability and safety. It’s a balancing act. Overall, our system will be more robust.