Equipping Lane Electric Cooperative with resilient infrastructure
As the intensity of wildfires and winter storms increases in west Oregon, Lane Electric Cooperative established a mitigation plan to improve infrastructure resilience and ensure the safety of local communities.
The 2019 winter storms and 2020 Holiday Farm Fire caused extensive damages to Lane County’s electric distribution system and burned nearly 175,000 acres of land. Lane Electric Cooperative needed to not only repair damaged infrastructure, but also become better equipped for future hazards.
Our disaster management team performed an intensive review of Lane Electric Cooperative’s force account labor and equipment documentation and found approximately 3,000 additional hours of force account equipment (46% funding increase) to submit for FEMA reimbursement. This approach allowed Lane Electric Cooperative to pursue a strategy to underground vulnerable areas rather than rebuild to past specifications.
We also prepared Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) applications for planning, public education and outreach, and utility infrastructure projects, including conversion of existing overhead components to underground.
Where we are now
We provide comprehensive recovery and mitigation services to Lane Electric Cooperative, including FEMA program management, damage assessments, drone flyovers, project formulation, procurement, and financial reviews. We also developed a $50 million hazard mitigation proposal to strengthen infrastructure against future disasters.
Lane Electric Cooperative secured FEMA mitigation funding and is leading the development of a Wildfire Mitigation Plan that includes geographic information system (GIS)-based risk assessments, vegetative management plans, and public safety power shutoff procedures.