Ice build-up on trees, caused by freezing rain, resulted in tree limbs and branches pulling down power lines and causing electricity service interruption to approximately 300,000 Toronto Hydro customers at the height of the storm on December 22. Power was restored to approximately 75 per cent of customers within 48 hours, with the remaining customers brought back online in stages through New Year's Day.
Toronto Hydro will conduct its own post-mortem following the storm and will compile it with results from the independent audit. The panel will be chaired by David J. McFadden Q.C. who is recognized for his leadership in the energy sector and who has served on the Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel, the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force that investigated the 2003 blackout, and his work on the deployment of smart grid technology in Ontario.
Mr McFadden was appointed to the Board of Governors for York University on February 25, 2013. He was also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. from 2004 to 2010. He is a partner in Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and Chair of Gowlings' International Management Committee.
Also serving on the panel is Sean Conway of Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Energy CUE. He joined CUE as a Distinguished Research Fellow in February 2012. Mr Conway is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Centres of Excellence OCE.
Joe Pennachetti, City Manager, will also sit on the Power Panel. Mr. Pennachetti is City Manager for the City of Toronto overseeing the delivery of more than 40 major services to a population of 2.7 million people. Mr Pennachetti is a certified general accountant and a member of the Certified General Accountants of Ontario and a fellow FCGA of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.
The panel will oversee a review of Toronto Hydro's storm response, including electricity grid design and emergency response urban forestry issues, and customer communications. The review will be conducted by Davies Consulting www.daviescon.com which is a leading energy industry consulting firm with expertise in emergency management.