A total of 28 utilities have committed to the RESTORE program, a collaborative effort among utilities designed to enhance the resilience and reliability of the power grid.
The RESTORE program allows participants to share spare transformers and other critical equipment in order to restore electrical service after catastrophic emergencies or significant natural events.
As part of the program, the participating utilities enter into binding agreements.
The RESTORE program – for Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration – was founded in 2016 by Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, PPL Electric Utilities, Tennessee Valley Authority and Southern Company.
The program seeks to address the threats outlined earlier this year in the Department of Energy's Strategic Transformer Reserve Report to Congress that highlighted how damage to or attacks on transformers could severely disrupt the nation’s electrical grid. The program also comes as utilities in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico grapple with widespread and devastating infrastructure damage in the wake of three massive hurricanes.
The participants of the program agree to identify and share spare transformers and other transmission equipment. In the event of a major disaster, that equipment would be available to participants for purchase.
"Utility cooperation and the ability to call on additional resources play a critical role during times of natural disasters and other emergencies that can impact our electric transmission system," John Lucas, chair of RESTORE's operating committee and Southern Company general manager of transmission policy and services, said in a statement. "Launching the RESTORE program, coupled with existing industry programs and each utility's internal resources, further strengthens total grid resilience for the region and electricity customers."
Other participating utilities include: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, American Transmission Company LLC, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., six Duke Energy utilities, Duquesne Light Company, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Entergy Corporation, Florida Power and Light Company, ITC Midwest, ITC Transmission, METC, Santee Cooper, and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.