Utah power providers sign historic One Utah Electricity Mutual Aid Agreement
Gov. Cox and the Utah Office of Energy Development brought the providers of Utah electricity together into a Mutual Aid Agreement today in the Capitol Rotunda. This is a voluntary partnership between Rocky Mountain Power, Utah’s Rural Electric Cooperatives, Utah Public Power companies.
Mutual Aid Agreements are devised to ensure the power industry has proper planning, process and contingencies in the advent of an emergency. Utah’s power industry has a strong track record of maintaining high levels of reliability; however, there are times when disasters, including but not limited to, storms, earthquakes and fires, occur that cause significant damage to the energy grid, creating widespread power outages.
When such circumstances arise, power companies must respond safely and efficiently to restore service to affected communities. This voluntary partnership between Utah’s power providers breaks down existing silos that may cause inefficiencies during a disaster and ultimately serves the public’s best interest.
“Thirteen months ago, almost to the day, a hurricane-force wind storm struck our state. Nearly 200,000 homes and businesses lost power, thousands of trees were damaged and our lineworkers from across the state went to work to restore services,” Gov. Cox said in a prepared statement. “One of the priorities of my administration is to make sure that we, as a state, and our partners, have the tools we need to respond in emergency situations. I want to thank Rocky Mountain Power, Utah’s Rural Electric Cooperatives, the Utah Municipal Power Agency, and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems for coming to the table to find a solution that works for our vision of working together as One Utah.”
“Restoring power after a disaster can be complex and require significant logistical expertise, and Mutual Aid Agreements can be the cornerstone of electricity utility operations in such an emergency.” said Thom Carter, Energy Advisor to Gov. Cox. “The goal of these agreements is to never have need for them; however, this preemptive planning will serve as a safeguard to curb a power disaster.”
Representatives from Rocky Mountain Power, Dixie Power, Moon Lake Electric, Garkane Energy, Raft River Electric, Spanish Fork, Provo, Levan, Nephi, Salem, Manti, South Utah Valley Electric Service District, Bountiful, and Morgan were all in attendance to sign the agreement. It is anticipated that the other public power companies that were unable to attend the signing at the Capitol will sign in the coming days.