Saturday, April 13

FPL strengthens energy grid serving Boca Raton as part of 2021 reliability and storm preparedness efforts

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers in Boca Raton continue to benefit from the company’s ongoing work to strengthen the energy grid and improve service reliability. FPL investments, which include strengthening power lines and poles, trimming trees near power lines, installing smart grid technology; and undergrounding power lines in select areas, help make the grid more reliable day-to-day and speed restoration following major storms.

“For more than 15 years, FPL has been improving the energy grid, making it stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient to keep the lights on for customers in good weather and bad,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Last year, there was a historic level of tropical activity with 30 named storms, and as a result of our ongoing investments in smart grid technology, we were able to speed restoration during these storms and avoid more than 150,000 outages. In addition, we continue to find cost-effective ways to replace overhead power lines with underground lines to reduce outages caused by animals, birds, trees and other vegetation.”

In 2018, FPL began a pilot program known as the Storm Secure Underground Program (SSUP) after Hurricane Irma, which was implemented to cost-effectively move overhead power lines underground in targeted communities. In neighborhoods including Boca Raton, that have experienced a history of vegetation-related interruptions, the program’s goal is to enhance customers’ service reliability and the energy grid’s resiliency. As of Dec. 31, 2020, more than 240 SSUP projects have been completed throughout the company’s service area.

2021 improvements in the Boca Raton area

FPL plans to make the following improvements in and near Boca Raton this year:

· Three Storm Secure Underground Program (SSUP) projects planned

· Strengthening one main power line

· Inspecting and clearing tree branches and vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from 50 miles of power lines

· As of this year, will have inspected 100% of power poles in Boca Raton over the past eight-year inspection cycle, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s standards

· Installing smart grid technology, including 13 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur

· Inspecting three main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption

When the planned 2021 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Boca Raton since the historic 2004-2005 hurricane seasons:

· Strengthened 39 main power lines, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms

· Reviewed 1,762 miles of power lines, clearing an average of 117 miles of tree branches and vegetation per year

· Inspected all 9,307 power poles every eight years

· Installed smart grid technology, including 963 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines

· Inspected 128 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology

As part of the Storm Protection Plan approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC), FPL estimates that between 300 and 500 neighborhood power lines will be placed underground annually from 2021 to 2022. Over the next 10 years, FPL plans to continue investing about $1 billion annually on storm hardening. These programs are a continuation of the company’s existing hardening programs and have benefited customers by successfully reducing restoration costs and outage times during major storms, as well as improving day-to-day service reliability.

“FPL’s efforts to build the nation’s most intelligent and reliable energy grid have resulted in a more than 40% improvement in service reliability since 2006 for our customers,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL. “As our service reliability has improved, we continue our efforts to embrace emerging technology to find innovative ways to deliver reliable and affordable energy.” 

The post FPL strengthens energy grid serving Boca Raton as part of 2021 reliability and storm preparedness efforts appeared first on Boca Raton’s Most Reliable News Source.

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