Oklahoma Municipal Alliance has announced that Tahlequah Public Works Authority, the city’s electric department, has been awarded first place in the associations’s annual Electric Operations and Reliability Competition.
The utility was recognized in the category for cities over 10,000 population and cited for achieving the highest reported level of service reliability for cities within Oklahoma.
TPWA was feted for having an Average System Availability Index of 99.9911 percent in 2020. TPWA employees meet the requirements of their work with professionalism and safety due to employer efforts. These efforts include four years of rigorous field experience and testing for all line workers before they achieve journey lineworker status.
OMA General Manager Tom Rider presented the award to TPWA.
In presenting the award, Rider said the trade association valued the continued participation of the various utilities in the region in the annual reliability competition.
“It’s important, we believe, for cities to maintain accurate records to measure their reliability and productivity. Through ongoing review of operations of cities in the four-state region, we find over time which systems have continuous excellence in construction standards and distribution automation," said Rider. "TPWA has taken many steps to maintain reliability and continues to invest in system improvements. The current operational standards and employee training standards of this utility are superior. This training and development of staff and increased funding for reliability resulted in the continued excellent performances of the utility. Local control means local crews. That means fast response, and fast response means less outage time.”
OMA is a municipal utility trade association representing cities in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. The association’s member utilities provide nonprofit electric services and electric power generation to some 750,000 people in four states. TPWA purchases energy from the Grand River Dam Authority.
To ensure fast response to emergencies, TPWA is also a signatory to Mutual Aid Agreements in the region. These agreements are recognized by FEMA for use in the event of emergency or natural disaster. Utilities in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma agree through the program on the conditions under which assistance may be received in an emergency ahead of the event so there are no delays in responding to the needs of another utility.
Mike Doublehead is general manager of TPWA.