AEP CEO: Harvey 'devastated' transmission, distribution system in south Texas
- American Electric Power's transmission and distribution system in its south Texas service territory has been "devastated," CEO Nick Akins told Bloomberg yesterday.
- In an interview with the financial news provider, Akins said several transmission lines are down including over 20 miles on one system that is "laying on the ground."
- While utilities struggle to bring power back online to affected communities, the operator for most of the state said the grid remains in stable condition and Electric Reliability Council of Texas competitive markets continue to operate.
The full extent of Hurricane Harvey's destruction is not yet known, but AEP CEO Akins warned yesterday that recovery would be a "challenge."
Recovery from the storm "is a tremendous activity," he said. The utility serves almost 1 million customers, and at the height of the storm almost a quarter of those were without power. By yesterday, however, AEP had reduced outages to 88,000. Recovery efforts have been slow in areas still under water, and Akins said in some the utility was still trying to assess the full exent of the damage.
AEP operates two utilities, AEP Texas Central Co. and AEP Texas North Co. Its service territory includes Corpus Christie, which was hard hit by Hurricane Harvey.
CenterPoint Energy, which serves the Houston area, said yesterday evening that the utility had restored power to more than 807,000 meters. About 14,000 meters are still inaccessible due to high water, however.
As of Aug. 30, ERCOT said restoration was continuing "where possible" on the electric transmission and distribution facilities impacted by the storm. Two major 345-kV transmission lines were out of service, including one in the Houston area, as well as 85 other high-voltage transmission lines in the affected areas.
About 7,600 MW of generation resource capacity was out of service, and some other units are operating at reduced capacity, for reasons related to the storm. However, officials said there were no reliability concerns due to the lost generation.
Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, coming ashore along the Texas Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Houston. At its peak, the storm knocked out power for 300,000 customers.
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