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Alabama Power honored for industry excellence at 2023 Southeastern Electric Exchange Conference

Alabama Power is continuously seeking to improve service and reliability. With people more connected than ever – both at home and work – making enhancements to Alabama Power systems and operations is increasingly important to better serve the 1.5 million homes, schools, businesses and industries the company serves.

Alabama Power was recently recognized for excellence by the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) for two projects.

The company was honored during the 2023 SEE Conference with an Industry Excellence Award in the distribution category for work on the Green Valley distribution underground project. The two-year project, in the Green Valley neighborhood of Hoover, involved installing about 33,000 linear feet of new underground cable to serve more than 100 customers. Once the underground system was installed, the company removed a decades-old overhead system that had become increasingly difficult to maintain and even more challenging to access and repair after storms.

Alabama Power took home two industry excellence awards at the 2023 SEE Conference for innovative projects that are helping the company better serve customers. (contributed)

Historically, distribution lines have only been placed underground when a customer was willing to pay the differential upfront cost between underground and overhead installation. But over time, costs associated with vegetation management and other processes for maintaining reliable overhead service have increased.

Justin Harrison, a manager in the company’s Power Delivery – Central Engineering organization, said Alabama Power is using system outage and maintenance cost data to identify locations where there are benefits to moving overhead distribution lines underground. The benefits include decreasing the frequency of outages and the amount of time that power is out.

Since moving the neighborhood system underground, Green Valley customers have enjoyed fewer outages and, when they do occur, power is restored faster.

Nearly 90 other undergrounding projects have been completed across Alabama Power’s system, with hundreds more in the design phase. As one of the first of its kind, the knowledge and experience gained on the Green Valley project helped shape the company’s undergrounding best practices, as well as day-to-day decisions in the field.

To learn more about Alabama Power’s undergrounding operations to enhance customer service and reliability while reducing long-term costs, click here.

Alabama Power’s Corporate Real Estate organization also was honored during the SEE conference with the Real Estate Right of Way Industry Excellence award. The award-winning project involved leveraging data analytics to drive workflow management, manage document intake and retention, and allocate resources across the company’s Land Acquisition workforce. The result: a more than 50% reduction in supplemental workforce in 2020, without sacrificing production or customer satisfaction.

SEE is a nonprofit association of investor-owned electric utilities. Founded in 1933, the association seeks to enhance the human, operational and technical resources of its members, and assists in coordination of storm restoration services. Learn more about SEE by clicking here.

To learn more about how Alabama Power and its employees are involved in fostering innovation, click here.