UI leadership provided municipal officials with mitigation plans for storms, including preparation for impacts of Hurricane Lee
ORANGE, Conn. — September 13, 2023 — United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid (NYSE: AGR), yesterday held its annual Winter Reliability Meeting at Avangrid’s headquarters at in Orange. During the meeting, company leadership presented an overview of its storm preparation for the 2023-24 season, discussed the challenges and mitigation strategies around fuel capacity, and reiterated the company’s commitment to proactive communication with municipal officials.
“As storms become increasingly unpredictable, it is critically important that we partner with the towns we serve to proactively communicate our expectations for outages and restoration times in order to mitigate the disruption to our customers’ daily lives,” said Frank Reynolds, President & CEO of United Illuminating. “We recognize many of our customers now rely on our service for everything from transportation to home heating, and I am proud our team is deepening our commitment to providing consistent, seamless information through a variety of channels.”
The discussion opened with UI’s current preparations for Hurricane Lee that could impact customers this weekend. While direct impacts on UI’s service territory are not currently anticipated, the unpredictable nature of storms in the North Atlantic necessitates precaution, and UI is currently staffing in anticipation of moderate storm impacts.
UI also provided a general outlook on winter storms and system reliability. Because of the New England region’s continued reliance on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel power plants that generate electricity, prolonged cold snaps combined with supply capacity challenges pose a risk for rolling outages. This year, the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) implemented “inventoried energy programs” to mitigate these challenges, and barring a low-probability disruption event, ISO-NE anticipates sufficient supply to avoid rolling outages in the region.
“At UI, our team takes very seriously our obligation to provide our customers with safe, reliable service,” said Chuck Eves, Vice President of Electric Operations at United Illuminating. “Whether we’re preparing for a potential storm or a cold snap, we have strong plans in place to mitigate disruptive impacts as much as possible, and we are committed to communicating with our towns, our state officials, and our individual customers if and when these situations arise.”
Approximately 30 municipal officials from 14 towns in UI’s service territory, as well as a representative from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) staff, attended the meeting, including representatives from municipalities’ emergency management, public works, and economic development departments. Municipal officials expressed gratitude for the proactive communication UI has implemented in the 17 towns in the UI service territory, including an online dashboard where officials can track outages and restoration times.
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