FPL Strengthens The Electric Grid Serving Boca As Part Of 2017 Reliability And Storm Preparedness Efforts

1033

Staff report

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) continues to upgrade its system in the Boca Raton area as part of its ongoing work to strengthen the power grid and improve service reliability.

Company investments, which include strengthening power lines and power poles, trimming trees around power lines and installing smart grid technology, help make the grid more reliable day-to-day and more storm-resilient.

“We continue to build a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round,” Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL said. “Our ongoing investments in strengthening the electric grid and utilizing advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This was never more evident than during last year’s hurricane season.”

FPL’s investments to the grid were tested last year during Hurricane Matthew and demonstrated its benefits to customers. FPL restored 99 percent of customers affected by Hurricane Matthew by the end of two full days of restoration following the hurricane’s exit from its service area. Smart grid automated switches on FPL’s system prevented 118,000 customer interruptions, and strengthened main power lines performed 30 percent better than non-strengthened main power lines. Furthermore, no FPL transmission poles and hardened main power line poles failed.

For everyday reliability, strengthened power lines perform approximately 40 percent better than lines that have not been strengthened, which improves reliability and speeds restoration efforts during severe weather such as afternoon summer thunderstorms.

2017 improvements in the Boca Raton area

When the planned 2017 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Boca Raton since 2006:

Strengthened 13 main power lines, including those that serve all critical and community services, such as Boca Raton Community Hospital, West Boca Medical Center, City of Boca Raton Emergency Operations Center and a water treatment plant, which are necessary for communities to recover after a storm;

Cleared tree branches and vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from 157 miles of power lines every year, and more than 1,725 miles since 2006;

Inspected all 10,406 power poles every eight years, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet the company’s standards for strength;

Installed smart grid technology, including 54 automated switches on main power lines and 472 automated switches on smaller power lines serving neighborhoods, to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur; and

Inspected 114 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption.

“FPL has the most reliable service of any investor-owned energy company in Florida, but we are never satisfied,” Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL said. “We’re working hard every day to provide our customers within the Boca Raton area with electric service they can count on. This includes several new projects in the area, such as the community thoroughfare along North Federal Highway.”