FPL matched its best-ever performance with the lowest rate of brief power outages or "flickers" on record
Mar 12, 2015
JUNO BEACH, Fla., March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced its reliability continues to rank the best of all major electric companies in Florida, based on 2014 performance data submitted to the Florida Public Service commission (FPSC) this month.
"We are committed to building a stronger and smarter grid to provide electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "We've invested more than $1.8 billion since 2006 to strengthen our electric system, we're continuing to roll out innovative, industry-leading solutions to improve the grid and that's paying off for our customers with more reliable service year-round."
Since 2006, FPL has strengthened more than 500 main power lines serving critical community facilities, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and 911 centers that are essential to getting a community back on its feet following a major storm. By 2016, FPL plans to strengthen every main power line serving critical community facilities in the 35 counties we serve.
"It is good to know we have a partner in FPL, not only in restoring service after severe weather, but beforehand, building a stronger grid as they are now to help safeguard the power flowing to key community facilities," said Bill Johnson, emergency management director for Palm Beach County.
How we strengthen the grid
FPL employs several strategies to strengthen or "harden" its infrastructure, including:
- Inspecting all poles for strength
- Replacing distribution poles with stronger ones, some designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 145 mph
- Replacing all transmission poles with steel or concrete
- Placing some equipment underground
- Clearing lines of vegetation that can cause outages
Also, after learning lessons from the severe flooding in the Northeast following Superstorm Sandy, FPL began installing flood mitigation and monitoring equipment at certain flood-prone electric substations. Substations adjust the voltage of electricity to make it suitable for distribution into neighborhoods and communities. To date, FPL has added flood mitigation equipment at 223 coastal substations to improve their storm resiliency.
Customer benefits of stronger, smarter grid
FPL began its grid strengthening efforts following the historic 2004-05 storm season, when seven hurricanes struck our service area in an 18-month span.
Furthermore, in 2009, FPL began adding smart grid technology to its system. To date, FPL has installed 4.7 million smart meters on homes and businesses and more than 12,000 intelligent devices on its poles and wires. This technology enables FPL to continually monitor and assess the health of its system, predict potential issues before they disrupt service to customers and restore power faster following outages.
Customers are seeing the performance benefits of our stronger, smarter grid. Strengthening main power lines helps make the grid more resilient in severe weather and speeds restoration following a weather event. Strengthening lines enhances their performance by approximately 40 percent, and improves reliable service throughout the year. Also, in 2014, in spite of a dramatic increase in lightning strikes on our infrastructure, FPL matched its best-ever performance with the lowest rate of brief power outages or "flickers" on record.
"We've made tremendous progress and will continue to work aggressively to strengthen the grid - part of our comprehensive program to reduce outages and eliminate 'flickers,'" said Manny Miranda, FPL vice president of Power Delivery.
In 2014, FPL was also recognized by P.A. Consulting for delivering the most reliable service of any utility in the Southeast U.S., and for best use technology of any utility in the nation.
About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.7 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the national average and, in 2014, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the fifth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International, and has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a leading clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being named to Fortune's list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.