Tags Posts tagged with "reliability"



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After two days of tireless work to restore power in our service area, Mississippi Power crews headed to Florida Wednesday to help restore power to Gulf Power customers. A team of nearly 100 line crew and support personnel quickly assembled to leave from various locations from the Coast, Pine Belt and Meridians divisions.

“This was a rapid deployment,” said Distribution Manager Randy Castello who is serving as team leader for this response. “One 10-person team has been in Pensacola since 6 a.m. Wednesday, and they left from Laurel after traveling there to assist our Pine Belt crews since Monday.”

Castello said others left in shifts in order to give crew members who had been working long hours in Mississippi the past two days, time to rest.

“While our goal is to help restore power as quickly as possible, we do so knowing that safe procedures are practiced every step of the way – before, during and even on the way home. Nothing is taken for granted when it comes to getting our employees home safely to their families.”

Crews were asked to pack for three days, however the exact amount of time deployed will be determined by extent of damage.


Laurel crews repairing storm damageCrews throughout the service territory continue to battle outages as severe weather rocked much of the Southeast last night.

The system had a peak of about 3,400 customers lose power around 3:40 a.m. with the primary causes of overnight outages being lightning and broken power poles.

“There are eight broken poles between Laurel and Waynesboro and six more in Meridian. Along with the broken poles, there are wire and trees down in the associated areas,” Customer Operations Manager Charlie Sentell said.

“Because of the increased activity in Pine Belt and Meridian, we’ve shifted some of our line crew resources north.”

Monitor the status of outages in virtually real time via our online outage map at mississippipower.com.


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By Jeff Shepard

As a company, Mississippi Power’s top priority is to make, move and sell electricity to our customers.

The employees who build, maintain and restore the lines that deliver that electricity are being honored today on National Lineman Appreciation Day.

“Our linemen are the best representatives of what it means to be a Mississippi Power employee,” Jeff Franklin, vice president of Customer Services Organization said. “They are truly committed to taking care of our customers, whether it’s the middle of the night or they’re facing extreme weather conditions. We should all be thankful for their service to our customers and Mississippi Power.”

Mississippi Power employs approximately 140 line workers to construct, operate and maintain the equipment that delivers electricity to 186,000 customers across 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

While working around electricity is inherently dangerous, weather conditions during the winter of 2014 complicated matters even more. Mississippi Power linemen once again met customers’ needs and safely restored service when outages occurred.

“Our crews were truly tested in extreme conditions during January and February,” Franklin said. “We got to see firsthand how talented and skilled these linemen are. I encourage every employee to thank a lineman if they see one today.”

Lead lineman Joey Ladner
Lead lineman Joey Ladner

Joey Ladner is in his 30th year with Mississippi Power, but this lead lineman knew from an early age that this was the job and the company for him.

That’s because Ladner is a second generation lineman. His father, Howard J. Ladner, Sr., a crew foreman, spent 37 years with the company.

“I had a better idea than the average person about the job,” Joey said.

Like his father, Joey is proud of the job he does and the linemen working beside him.

“It’s a brotherhood. We’re a close group and we look after each other. We care about each other. We all have families, and we want to send everyone home the way they came into work,” he said.

Ladner has seen the lineman’s job change from the time his father put on a hard hat. He remembers the men on his dad’s crew climbing power poles to make repairs.

“Dad had no bucket trucks. They climbed with hooks,” Joey said, adding that Hurricane Camille in 1969 changed that.

“Outside crews came with bucket trucks and Mississippi Power saw all the work that could be done from a bucket truck and started buying bucket trucks.”

In his three decades on the job, he has also seen changes in technology and how that has impacted customer service.

Whether it’s restoring power after a hurricane or maintaining the lines every day, Joey said he’s always touched by the gratitude of the customers he meets.

“It’s satisfying to restore power to people. Every day is different. Anything can happen.”


04_07_StormSevere weather kept Mississippi Power crews busy Sunday evening into early Monday morning.

Heavy rain and storms caused about 18 separate outage events affecting 443 customers.

A suspected tornado that touched down near Jackson caused a transmission outage to the Walnut Grove substation, leaving almost 300 customers without power for almost six hours, said Charlie Sentell, customer operations manager.

Outages or blinks on the system were also reported in Hickory, Laurel, Sumrall and the Pine Belt and Meridian service areas.

“As always, the focus of our employees is to restore power as quickly as possible while being as safe as possible,” Sentell said, adding that 31 Mississippi Power distribution crew employees worked to restore power.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, power had been restored to all but 81 customers.


When it comes to measuring generation reliability, the importance of winter peak season is growing because cold weather blasts are as unpredictable as summer’s hot temperatures.

The winter of 2014 certainly proved that to be true.

Facing bitterly cold temperatures for an extended period of time, Mississippi Power’s generating fleet and employees performed incredibly and registered a winter peak season equivalent forced outage rate result of 0.52 percent.

EFOR is the industry standard used to measure a generating fleet’s availability when it is needed. The national average for winter peak season EFOR is about 7 percent.

“With temperatures at or below freezing for several weeks during January and February, our generation employees answered the call of our customers,” said Vice President and Senior Production Officer Allen Reaves. “They safely provided the reliable service that Mississippi Power customers have grown accustomed to receiving.”

On the coldest days of January, all of Mississippi Power’s generation resources – both coal and gas – were called on to help heat homes and businesses across the service territory.

The drop in temperatures sent the price of natural gas soaring across the country. In the Northeast, where pipeline infrastructure is limited, prices reached all-time highs.

Bloomberg recently reported daily power sales in New York averaged $165.24 a megawatt-hour from the end of December to March 24, an increase of 91 percent from a year earlier.

Southern Company Gas Services coordinates the execution of Mississippi Power’s daily purchases of natural gas from the Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures market in Louisiana. Natural gas is purchased under a combination of both long-term base load and short-term spot market purchases. Both types of purchases are priced at market on the day of delivery.

On average, the company paid nearly $6/mmBTU of natural gas during February 2014, with the highest price topping out near $7.90.

“Our group comes to work every day realizing that every dollar we spend has a direct impact on our customers,” said David Mauffray, Fuels Services manager. “So we’re constantly looking to lower or stabilize fuel prices.”

The addition of lignite at the Kemper County energy facility to the company’s fuel portfolio of coal and natural gas will help customers avoid an overreliance on one fuel source and avoid the volatility of the natural gas market.