The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) on April 26 named six finalists for the Edison Award, the electricity industry's highest honor.
American Electric Power, Portland General Electric, Public Service Enterprise Group and Xcel Energy were nominated for the U.S. Edison Award, while TransAlta Corporation was selected along with a joint nomination by British Columbia Transmission Corporation and Hydro-Quebec for the international Edison Award.
The award, presented annually by EEI, recognizes U.S. and international electric companies for distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all. The finalists were selected by a committee composed of energy trade publication editors. Winners will be selected by a panel of former electric company chief executives.
This year's award, the 83rd annual, will be presented in Hollywood, Fla., during the EEI Annual Convention and Expo that runs June 13-16.
EEI president Tom Kuhn praised the contributions by finalists, saying, "The commitment by our industry to reducing emissions, strengthening reliability, operating more efficiently and introducing innovation is ever apparent, as these six companies have exhibited with their unique and remarkable efforts."
Descriptions of the companies' efforts are as follows:
American Electric Power (AEP) – AEP has worked to advance and promote policies, strategies, and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, culminating in the commissioning of the world's first completed project to capture and store CO2 on site at the Mountaineer Plant in West Virginia. AEP has also integrated Smart Grid technologies, and is a leader in sustainability for reducing emissions, conserving forests and working internationally to reduce GHGs.
Portland General Electric (PGE) – PGE and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation completed a one-of-a-kind fish bypass/intake structure designed to restore fish passage and return water temperatures to historic patterns at the 465-megawatt Pelton Round Butte hydro plant. This will allow chinook, steelhead and sockeye salmon to complete their life cycles in the Deschutes River for the first time in 40 years.
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) – PSEG's growth strategy has been to align the company's interests with the interests of society, specifically in the areas of combating climate change and creating jobs. The company has accomplished this through energy efficiency efforts, development of renewable resources (solar, wind and energy storage) and clean central station nuclear and coal power.
Xcel Energy – Xcel Energy completed the Minnesota Metro Emissions Reduction Project, a voluntary $1-billion project that significantly reduced air emissions from three Twin Cities-area power plants, converting two from coal to natural gas combined cycle and installing state-of-the-art emissions control technology at a third.
British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) and Hydro-Quebec – The Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ) developed a high performance robot (LineScout Technology) designed to complete detailed and comprehensive inspection of energized transmission lines of up to 765kV. BCTC and Hydro-Quebec worked together to implement the technology in BCTC's operations and to improve the use of the LST for the inspection over lengthy water crossings, thereby reducing costs, increasing reliability and improving safety.
TransAlta Corporation – With the governments of Canada and Alberta, the company embarked upon Project Pioneer, one of the world's first and largest fully integrated carbon capture and storage facilities for a coal-fired power plant. If successful, CCS will preserve the value of billions of dollars of existing energy infrastructure and the fuels that drive it.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Our members serve 95 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. We also have more than 65 International electric companies as Affiliate members, and more than 170 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate members.