JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company customers escaped the worst of the record-breaking 2020 hurricane season, which ended Monday. During the two named storms that impacted FPL customers, the company restored more than 450,000 outages after trees and debris blew into equipment and flooding caused service interruptions.
Five times during the unprecedented hurricane season, FPL provided mutual assistance for other utilities directly impacted by hurricanes. And while hurricane season is officially over, FPL is urging customers to remain prepared as tropical systems can still form outside the official dates.
There were 30 named storms during the 2020 season, breaking the previous record of 28 in 2005. Aside from this year’s historic level of tropical activity, the season was unlike any other as restoration personnel worked with the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led FPL to revamp its restoration procedures to add safety measures to protect customers, employees and contractors.
Customers continued to see benefits during the 2020 hurricane season from FPL’s investments in smart grid technology, which avoided more than 150,000 outages and sped restoration during named storms.
FPL activated its emergency response plan three times -- for Tropical Storms Isaias in late July and for Eta two separate times in November. FPL also deployed thousands of employees and contractors to several states, traveling as far west as Texas and as far north as New Jersey to restore power after hurricanes struck those areas.
“This hurricane season drove home the importance of preparation and the critical role of mutual assistance,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “Other energy companies stepped up to help us respond to Isaias and Eta, and our dedicated men and women were eager to provide support to our fellow Americans on five different occasions after hurricanes caused damage elsewhere.”
Three 2020 storms directly affected FPL customers.
In addition to the storms that directly impacted FPL customers, the company deployed crews and contractors on five mutual assistance efforts outside FPL’s service territory. FPL and sister company Gulf Power worked together four times. Gulf Power crews assisted FPL for Isaias and round one of Eta; FPL deployed personnel to assist Gulf Power after Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Zeta.
Before making the decision to send help elsewhere, FPL makes sure its customers are taken care of and that no other storms pose a threat to FPL customers.
Working closely with other energy companies in mutual assistance agreements is another way FPL serves its customers. Because of its strong working relationship with other industry partners, FPL was able to quickly bring thousands of restoration workers into the state to help get the lights on faster after severe weather affected FPL customers.
Also boosting FPL’s storm response is the more than $5 billion the company has invested since 2006 to make the energy grid stronger, smarter and more storm resilient. Those investments have helped FPL restore power faster after hurricanes and severe weather while also improving reliability for customers on a day-to-day basis.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the United States as measured by retail electricity produced and sold, serving more than 5.1 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30% lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98%, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all electric companies nationwide. The company was recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2020 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of Gulf Power Company, which serves approximately 470,000 customers in eight counties throughout northwest Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.