As we near the end of 2020 and look ahead with renewed optimism, it is easy to get lost in reflection on the challenges this year presented. But I believe that with any obstacle comes the opportunity to rise to the occasion, and I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside the team at Williams that did exactly that this year.
Williams owns and operates more than 30,000 miles of critical natural gas infrastructure. It is on us to deliver the natural gas that powers facilities where our nation’s electricity is made. We also move the natural gas that many Americans use every day to cook dinner, keep their homes warm, or take a comfortable shower. To keep lights on and homes heated, we must provide dependable service. And thanks to our employees, in a year filled with uncertainty, we were able to pivot quickly to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of energy to America’s cities and communities.
We did this by evolving our telework capabilities and policies to maintain operational effectiveness, productivity, and efficiency for our nearly 5,000 employees. Our people have been nimble in moving to a work from home environment, while also balancing the dynamics of virtual learning and family care.
Of course, working from home is not possible for approximately 60% of our employees – the dedicated women and men who manage our control rooms and operate, maintain, and support our field assets. For this group, we quickly implemented safety protocols based on CDC guidelines to keep these Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers healthy, as well as bolstered our robust contingency plans to keep our operations going in any circumstance, which not only was critical during the pandemic, but also ensured continued service during a very active hurricane season.
Despite a year filled with unprecedented challenges, we also managed to achieve early in-service capacity for several key energy infrastructure expansions in 2020. These projects serve the growing demand for natural gas in the United States, helping advance our clean energy future. In fact, our gas transmission pipeline projects in execution this year will deliver enough energy to serve 8.4 million homes in America annually. I applaud our teams for proactively working with stakeholders to complete these projects in a timely, cost-conscious, and environmentally responsible manner while following strict health safety protocols during the pandemic. As a leading energy infrastructure provider, Williams’ employees are vital to safely operating our business. Still, with so much uncertainty around us this year, our employees never lost focus while ensuring the reliability of our operations. I’m incredibly proud to work with each of them and look forward to what we will accomplish in 2021.