Cleco receives industry award for storm assistance

Photo (left to right): Jeff Baudier, Cleco’s chief marketing and development officer, accepts the Emergency Assistance Award from EEI president, Tom Kuhn. (Photo provided by Cleco)

PINEVILLE (News Release) - On Wednesday, Cleco was recognized by Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with an Emergency Assistance Award for its work in assisting Georgia Power with power restoration after Hurricane Matthew caused historic damage to Georgia in October 2016.

The award, presented at the EEI Board of Directors and CEO meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., recognizes an extraordinary response in assisting electric companies with power restoration efforts after service disruptions by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Following an international nomination process, a panel of judges selected Cleco for the award.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the electric utility industry,” said Bill Fontenot, Cleco’s chief operating officer. “We understand firsthand how challenging restoration can be after storms devastate an electric system. We are eager to help any time we have the opportunity.”

Cleco sent a 44-member storm team to aid Georgia Power in its recovery operations. Working more than 5,280 hours, Cleco line crews helped replace and repair nearly 1,000 power poles and run approximately 120 miles of new wire.

“Cleco’s crews quickly responded to the call to assist in the restoration efforts following Hurricane Matthew,” said EEI president Tom Kuhn. “Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the electric power industry and Cleco’s crews exemplify the industry’s dedication to mutual assistance and customer service. The courageous and dedicated crews who faced challenging conditions in the wake of Hurricane Matthew are greatly deserving of this terrific recognition.”

This is the ninth response award Cleco has earned since the program began in 1998.