Electricity must be generated and provided at the moment it is needed. The transmission system is what makes this possible, with help from Transmission Maintenance Lineman Rod Harris.
“Most of our customers don’t see what the Transmission employees do every day,” said Foreman Jeff Bonner. “Harris is an excellent lineman, I’m glad he’s on my team.”
Harris volunteers with Eufaula Parks & Recreation as a coach for baseball, basketball and soccer. He also volunteers with the Special Olympics in the Southeast Division through the Alabama Power Service Organization.
Over the years, Harris has contributed to the development of children, students and adult leaders in his community. Through sports, Harris encourages exercise, confidence, friendships and a sense of accomplishment.
Harris started his career at Alabama Power as a utility assistant on the Eufaula Transmission line crew in 2006. He moved through roles of increasing responsibility before moving to his current position.
“Our primary job is to identify potential problems and repair them before they can cause an outage to our customers,” said Harris. “We are the first responders who make the repairs if we have a transmission outage. We spend most of our time replacing old poles and arms to keep our system reliable to our customers.”
Transmission department employees service the thousands of miles of high-voltage lines that serve as a highway to move large amounts of power from generating plants to distribution substations. From the substations, power is stepped down to a smaller voltage and sent through smaller lines to houses and businesses across the state.
As a lineman, Harris enjoys training new employees to become linemen who think outside the box. “I’ve been on the same transmission maintenance crew for 14 years, do routine maintenance work on a daily basis,” said Harris. “We maintain the transmission lines in the southeast corner of Alabama. Transmission lines are generally cross-country or in rural locations.”
Harris’ passion is to be the best person he can be for his teammates. He doesn’t mind sharing knowledge to help the next person. Sometimes the job is challenging, but he finds value in working for a company that promotes safety and personal growth.
Harris grew up in Clayton and attended Wallace Community College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science for Electrical Technology. “My instructor pointed me in the direction of Alabama Power, so I applied,” said Harris. “It was a good decision.”
The Unsung Heroes series spotlights employees, their contributions to the company and the role they play in elevating Alabama communities.