New Electric Distribution Reliability Team Focuses on Customer Reliability

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A new electric distribution Reliability Team has been formed by investor owned, municipal, and cooperative electric utilities in the upper Midwest as part of the Midwest ENERGY Association's (MEA) ongoing efforts to help its members achieve operational excellence. This group will hold its second multi-day education program during MEA's Electric Operations Conference (EOC) August 4-6, 2008 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

A new electric distribution Reliability Team has been formed by investor owned, municipal, and cooperative electric utilities in the upper Midwest as part of the Midwest ENERGY Association's (MEA) ongoing efforts to help its members achieve operational excellence. This group will hold its second multi-day education program during MEA's Electric Operations Conference (EOC) August 4-6, 2008 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

"Reliable, uninterrupted electric supply is what our customers expect," explained Dan Wolf, first vice chair of the MEA Team and Yankton Area Field Engineer for NorthWestern Energy. "Our goal in forming this new Midwest Electric Reliability team is a more conscious focus on customer reliability and to share those successful practices through the MEA that we have experienced and learned from individually to help other members and member companies enhance reliability and save money."

"The Reliability Team is a unique group of utility professionals who share what is and what is not contributing to system reliability. We'll have dozens of reliability experts focused on one thing: system reliability," continued John Gann, vice president, electric services, MEA. "This team works closely with our other groups - Overhead and Underground Distribution, Codes and Standards, Safety, and so on. Reliability is so important that the Electric Operating Steering Committee felt it should have its own team."

Classes at the upcoming EOC include: Thermal Imaging, Vegetation Management, IEEE 1366, NERC Reliability Standards, and Animal and Bird Deterrence Strategies. In addition, the conference features indoor and outdoor technology exhibits.

In addition to the in-person gatherings like the EOC, the Reliability Team will share practices and challenges via an MEA electric operations on-line forum to address "real-time" reliability challenges.

Commonwealth Edison, Indianapolis Power & Light, Kansas Power & Light, Lincoln Electric, Louisville Gas & Electric, Madison Gas & Electric, NiSource, NorthWestern Energy, Vectren, We Energies, and Wisconsin Public Service currently have members on the Leadership Team. All other MEA members have Reliability delegates who receive information relative to the team.

For more information about MEA or the Reliability Team, contact John Gann at (651) 289-9600 x105.

Midwest ENERGY Association is a 15-state regional trade association serving the natural gas and electric utility industry. Our mission is to make utility distribution safer and more efficient. We do this by providing programs and services for the industry. We are your "Partners in Excellence, Committed to Results."

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Elizabeth Fischer

John Gann
Midwest ENERGY Association
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