Northern Powergrid "Hidden Heroes" Shortlisted for National Award
A team of 35 Northern Powergrid employees has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award after supporting fellow electricity distributors when Storm Doris caused power cuts for hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.
The Utility Week Star Awards - Hero Award category - celebrates the dedication of teams that have gone above and beyond and put the needs of others first to make a real difference.
The team, which came from various locations across Northern Powergrid's operating area, travelled hundreds of miles in February to lend a hand as part of NEWSAC, a vital UK energy industry mutual aid agreement.
The agreement, which all UK electricity distribution companies are signed up to, aims to provide additional strength to engineering teams so power can be restored for customers as soon as possible when electricity networks are damaged by severe weather, like the atrocious conditions seen during Storm Doris.
As soon as Northern Powergrid, who are responsible for keeping the lights on for customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, was confident that Storm Doris had not any significant effect on its own network it asked staff, who would who would be willing to help two fellow distribution companies that had been significantly impacted by the storm, to step forward
The group travelled to Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales and East Anglia to support their frontline industry colleagues who'd already been battling for 24-hours to restore power to thousands of customers and repair the damage caused in the wake of Storm Doris.
Rod Gardner, head of network operations at Northern Powergrid, said: "It's fantastic to be shortlisted for a prestigious industry award. It's great recognition for our staff who stepped up to support our industry colleagues at such a critical time."
"They worked incredibly hard in challenging conditions to help reconnect thousands of customers. They carried out necessary repairs to overhead power lines damaged by the storm, supporting the restoration efforts to get the lights back on for the worst affected communities.
"We're already incredibly proud of their contribution; they really are hidden heroes who would be well deserved of this industry recognition for the fantastic work they did."
Northern Powergrid decided to enter the Hero Award - Team in the Utility Week Stars 2017 Awards to highlight how the UK energy industry is working together to improve the response to major incidents that affect the electricity distribution network. Restoring power to customers safely and quickly is the mission; however, this can be quite a challenge in the usually very difficult conditions. The mutual aid agreement is an important part of the electricity sectors work; it sets priorities and shares resources nationally ensuring that customers' power is restored as quickly as possible during major incidents.
As part of the agreement all companies are able to issue a request to fellow distribution companies asking them to consider what engineering staff they can release without compromising their own restoration plans or critical activities.
The winner of the award will be announced on 23 June 2017.
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