Massena Electric cited for power reliability

The Massena Electric Department has earned a Reliable Public Power (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Electric Department’s proficiency in keeping outages to a minimum while stressing safety are among the factors that has earned it a Reliable Public Power (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association.

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four areas — reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

The criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

“Usually if you do the right things, you get the right results,” Massena Electric Department Superintendent Andrew McMahon said. “We’re led by a board with five people from the community who continue to support investments, staff and infrastructure. It’s a good board and a good staff. If there is a best practice that they’re not doing, there’s probably a good reason why.”

“We take a lot of pride in the work we do to power our community. It’s nice to be recognized as among the ‘best of the best’ on a national level,” Massena Electric Utility Board Chairman James Shaw said.

“This award recognizes the process we go through as much as the results we have achieved on reliability, safety and rates. It lets us know that the success we have had is not luck. Our success is based upon doing the right things for our customers, for our system and for our employees,” he said.

“RP3 utilities are consistently looking to improve their workforce, system reliability and safety to serve their communities better. This is a great honor,” Massena Electric Department Deputy Superintendent Matthew Gray said.

Mr. McMahon said safety was an important part of their efforts.

“We’re a small organization, with only 20 employees. If anyone was hurt, it would impact us, so we make sure everybody has the right training,” he said.

Applications for the designation are evaluated and scored by an 18-member panel that includes officers from the American Public Power Association’s safety, transmission and distribution, and system planning committees, as well as representatives chosen by the board chair of the American Public Power Association and one member of a joint action agency or state association.

Applicants earn points for their practices and accomplishments in each of the four areas, with criteria in each category based on leading-edge business practices.

The Massena Electric Department joins more than 275 power utilities across the nation with the RP3 designation, which lasts for three years.

The American Public Power Association has offered the RP3 designation for the past 15 years.

“Receiving an RP3 designation is a great honor and demonstrates a utility’s commitment to implementing industry best practices in utility operations,” Aaron Haderle, chair of the RP3 Review Panel and manager of Transmission and Distribution Operations at Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida, said in a statement.

The Massena Electric Department, which began operations on May 8, 1981, serves more than 9,000 customers in the town and village of Massena, as well as parts of three other townships.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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