COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Westerville Electric Division was honored for its achievements throughout the past year during the 2021 American Municipal Power (AMP) Annual Conference. They received an AMP System Improvement Award, System Sustainability Award and Public Power Promotion Award, and city officials Kathy Cocuzzi and David Collinsworth were made Ohio Municipal Electric Association (OMEA) Honorary Members. Additionally, Westerville Electric Utility Manager, Chris Monacelli, was elected to serve as treasurer the AMP Board of Trustees.
The System Improvement Award recognized the 69-kilovolt (kV) Underground Cable Replacement Project and the Substation Number One Rebuild Project. The 69-kV Underground Cable Replacement Project entailed replacing 1.2 miles of underground high-voltage cables, including the installation of terminations, cable splices and other associated items. The Substation Number One Rebuild Project included the replacement of switchgear, transformers and voltage regulators, as well as the upgrade from a four-feeder station to an eight-feeder station.
The System Sustainability Award recognized the Residential PowerUP Off-Peak Charging Program. The program intends to encourage electric vehicle (EV) adoption by offering customers a one-time payment to help cover the costs of installing charging infrastructure and, to encourage smart charging, offers a reduced electric rate for customers charging their EV during off-peak hours.
The Public Power Promotion Award recognized the city’s Utility Bill Holiday program, a COVID-19 relief program that waived the fees for one month’s payment of electric, water, sanitation and trash services, resulting in an aggregate cost of $5.5 million, with nearly $4 million waived by the Westerville Electric Division alone.
Additionally, the Westerville Electric Division received an AMP Safety Commendation in the Transmission and Distribution category in recognition of having less than one percent time lost due to reportable accidents.
“Safety is a priority at AMP, and we commend the efforts of our members and wish congratulations to all those awarded,” said Michelle Palmer, AMP vice president of technical services and compliance.
The general membership of the Ohio Municipal Electric Association (OMEA) also selected two honorary members this year: Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi and former City Manager David Collinsworth. OMEA Honorary Membership is bestowed on individuals whose dedication and service on behalf of public power in Ohio has been of the highest order.
The AMP Annual Conference took place Sept. 20–22 in Columbus and offered a virtual option for remote attendees. The organization’s premier event featured presentations and panel discussions by industry experts and speakers from AMP partner organizations.
Submitted by American Municipal Power, Inc.