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WEC Energy Group honored with EEI's 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for Puerto Rico Power Restoration following Hurricane Maria

June 05, 2018

SAN DIEGO, June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today presented WEC Energy Group with the association's special 2018 Emergency Assistance Award for its contributions to the emergency power restoration mission in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The devastating Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, impacting all critical infrastructure, damaging at least 80 percent of the island's energy grid, and leaving all island residents without power.

WEC Energy Group's two electric subsidiaries in Wisconsin, We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, were among nearly 60 electric companies that committed crews, equipment and/or materials to the emergency power restoration mission. Combined, more than 70 We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service employees were deployed for a six-week stay, but the majority of the crews worked 18-hour days on the island for eight weeks.

"We could not be more proud of our employees for dedicating two months of their lives to this humanitarian mission," said Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of WEC Energy Group. "This was an unprecedented effort for us, sending crews and equipment outside the continental United States for the first time in our company's history." 

Crews faced incredibly challenging and complex restoration work because extensive portions of Puerto Rico's energy grid are in rugged, mountainous terrain that has little or no road access. Transporting crews and equipment to Puerto Rico also was much more complicated and time-intensive than deploying mutual assistance on the mainland, and it required extensive coordination among responding companies.

On May 22, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) announced that power had been restored to 99 percent of its customers across the island who can receive electricity. This was a significant milestone that was reached by PREPA and its restoration partners, including FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors, and industry mutual assistance crews.

"The power restoration effort in Puerto Rico was a massive and unprecedented mission, and electric companies from across the country, including WEC Energy Group, responded to the call for help," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "The electric power industry pulled together with one goal in mind, to restore power to the people of Puerto Rico. It truly was one team, one mission. WEC Energy Group is deserving of this recognition for providing tremendous support to PREPA and our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico."

EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. EEI members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The electric power industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. In addition to our U.S. members, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies as International Members, and hundreds of industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving 4.5 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

The company's principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.

WEC Energy Group (, is a Fortune 500 company and a component of the S&P 500. The company has approximately 50,000 stockholders of record, 8,000 employees, and more than $31 billion of assets.


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SOURCE WEC Energy Group

Kristin Rudman, EEI, (202) 508-5155; or Cathy Schulze, WEC Energy Group, 414-221-4444

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