January 12, 2023

We earned industry award for restoration efforts

Recipient of EEI Emergency Recovery Award

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) presented us with the association’s Emergency Recovery Award for our outstanding restoration efforts during and after the storm that hit parts of our company’s service area on May 12, 2022.

Presented to EEI member companies twice a year, this award recognizes recovery efforts of electric companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. A panel of judges chose the winners following an international nomination process.

Otter Tail Corporation President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane accepts the EEI Emergency Response Award.

Otter Tail Corporation President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane accepts the EEI Emergency Response Award.

Catastrophic storm sweeps through service area
The National Weather Service labeled the May 12 storm that ravaged through Minnesota and South Dakota a derecho. The damage was staggering. More than 40% of our company’s feeders experienced an interruption, impacting nearly half of our 422 communities and leaving approximately 24,000 without electricity.

Restoration efforts involved complicated logistics across our company’s service area. But employees rallied—working safely during long hours over multiple days to restore power, make repairs, and pick up others' accountabilities as needed while more than 115 employees in the field pushed toward the areas hardest hit.

“Throughout the past six months, electric companies faced devastating hurricanes, unprecedented heat waves, and many other extreme weather events that impacted the customers and communities we serve,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “I commend Otter Tail Power’s commitment to restore service for its customers safely and quickly under challenging conditions. Otter Tail Power is undoubtedly deserving of this national recognition, and I’m honored to present them with this well-deserved award.”

Power and people you can count on
“Historic storms like this one, while rare, are inevitable. It's why we invest so heavily in preparing for the worst—so we’re ready, always," said President Tim Rogelstad. “It took tremendous effort to restore power, and we're grateful for EEI's recognition. Thank you to all employees for your hard work and commitment to our customers and to each other. From those braving the elements during outages to those putting in long hours monitoring and maintaining our systems, we reliably serve our customers each and every day.”