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PG&E and Florida Power & Light Sign Unique Cross-Continent Mutual Aid Agreement

10/13/2014

Agreement Provides for Extra Resources to Help Restore Electric Service for Customers in the Aftermath of a Widespread, Catastrophic Natural Disaster

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The states of California and Florida are no strangers to natural disasters that can cause extensive power outages and significant damage to electric infrastructure. Whether it's an earthquake or a hurricane, employees with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) constantly evaluate their preparedness and practice their response to these types of catastrophic events. To help ensure that extra resources are available to repair damage and restore service safely and more quickly following a widespread emergency, PG&E and FPL recently signed their first mutual aid agreement with another electric utility on the opposite side of the country.

"As the recent earthquake in Napa County reminded us, we never know when the next natural disaster will strike our area. We are constantly assessing opportunities to improve our readiness to respond and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with FPL to support one another in being ready to serve our customers in times of need. This cross-continent agreement makes extra resources available from a utility unlikely to be affected by the same natural disaster," said Geisha Williams, PG&E's executive vice president of electric operations.  

Williams noted that it is particularly fitting for the agreement to be signed near the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake this Friday.

"In the aftermath of a natural disaster, FPL and PG&E share a common goal of returning life to normal as quickly and safely as possible," said Manny Miranda, vice president of power delivery for FPL. "This innovative, cross country partnership is yet another example of our commitment to doing what's necessary to achieve that goal, particularly during times of crisis when our customers depend upon us most."

Through this agreement, both PG&E and FPL will commit more than 100 employees, including linemen, equipment operators, supervisors and support personnel to help restore power in the impacted utility's service area. These workers will augment hundreds of other staff that the utility can mobilize in response to an emergency through regional mutual aid agreements with neighboring utilities, contractors and internal resources.

PG&E assembled a team of subject matter experts, including support from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, to evaluate the plan and help ensure it works effectively. For example, since transporting vehicles and equipment across the country can take several days, deployed employees will fly across the country and use the host utility's trucks and tools to help expedite the restoration efforts. The agreement also outlines common work procedures and safety protocols.

Unlike an earthquake, utilities typically have a few days to prepare for strong winter storms or powerful hurricanes. For these types of weather events, this unique agreement will mobilize company resources ahead of time and have them ready to respond onsite before the storm hits.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

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About FPL

Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.7 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. As of year-end 2013, FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the national average and the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Cogent Reports, and has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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