The Edison Electric Institute today named San Diego Gas & Electric the winner of the 2018 Edison Award, the electric power industry's most prestigious and coveted honor. Recognized for its work to enhance grid resiliency, SDG&E was presented with the 90th Edison Award among a group of distinguished finalists known for their industry leadership, innovation and excellence in the global energy industry.
Nearly a decade ago, SDG&E started aggressive efforts to combat climate change and enhance power grid resiliency. Rising temperatures, prolonged drought conditions, and severe weather patterns presented new challenges including devastating wildfires. SDG&E made significant strategic investments to help strengthen the power grid, increase situational awareness and create operating protocols that have helped enhance the region's ability to respond to wildfires.
"As part of our commitment to regional safety, we developed one of the most comprehensive and robust fire risk mitigation programs in the industry designed to help protect infrastructure and the communities we serve," said Scott Drury, president of SDG&E. "We made one bold decision after another, and collaborated with public and private sectors, academia and government agencies to address climate change in new, innovative ways."
It's been 77 years since SDG&E was honored with the respected Edison Award. In 1941, SDG&E was recognized for its impressive performance in meeting greatly increased industrial and defense electric demand while serving a large and rapidly growing population. A seventy-one percent increase in industrial energy demand was met without interruption of service.
"SDG&E is a committed and innovative partner in our widespread efforts to address the threat of wildfires," said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts. "I want to congratulate the company and its dedicated workforce for being recognized with this incredible honor from the Edison Electric Institute."
EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Members provide electricity to about 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 America. Additionally, EEI has more than 60 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries across the globe.
"The steps taken by SDGE to improve fire safety in San Diego county have undoubtedly had a positive impact on the region," said Fire Chief Mecham, San Diego County Fire Authority. "Their efforts over the last decade show a true commitment to the customers that they serve and solidifies their position as a leader in the electric industry."
SDG&E's wildfire risk mitigation program has helped protect lives, homes and property from the threat of wildfire throughout the region. With a long-standing commitment to safety, SDG&E will continue to collaborate with various agencies and partners to build upon the foundation that helped create a resilient power grid. In doing so, SDG&E is helping to create a sustainable future for its customers who rely on them every day to power their lives.