Colorado’s lights, broadband must stay on during coronavirus. Here’s how utilities are keeping their workers safe.
With everyone hunkered down to avoid the coronavirus, folks are turning to the internet, streaming services, TVs and cellphones. And while we all need those devices to stay connected and entertained, and in some cases stay at work or in school, there is one thing they all need – electricity.
Utilities in Colorado and across the country are taking steps to ensure that the lights – and everything else – stay on in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those steps vary from dividing key groups of workers into separate redundant teams, limiting personnel in key areas such as power plants, swabbing down work stations before and after every shift, issuing personal protective equipment to field crews and having as many employees as possible work remotely.
“The energy grid is a key part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, so we have a responsibility to take a well-planned, heightened approach to the threats that COVID-19 poses,” Xcel Energy, Colorado’s biggest electricity provider, said in a statement.
In many cases the plans aren’t new. Xcel Energy, Tri-State Generation & Transmission, which supplies rural cooperatives in Colorado, and the Platte River Power Authority, which serves Fort Collins, Longmont, Estes Park and Loveland, all had standing strategies for dealing with epidemics and pandemics.
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