FPL Wins Communications Excellence, Most Innovative Practice Awards For Emergency Response
By Space Coast Daily // December 11, 2016
Awards help mark end of 2016 hurricane season
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced that it received Davies Consulting’s “Communications Excellence” and “Most Innovative Practice” awards for its leadership in emergency response, including its application of innovative processes and tools to restore service to customers faster following a storm.
The awards help close out the 2016 hurricane season, ending Florida’s more than decade-long hurricane drought and highlighting how FPL’s continued investments in the energy grid are delivering benefits for customers.
“Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew tested our storm readiness, highlighting the importance of being prepared, leveraging the latest tools and processes, and continuing to invest in our system to make it stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO for FPL.
“These awards are a testament to our team’s extensive preparation and training, and FPL’s investments to harden our system, upgrade power lines and poles, and leverage innovative smart grid technology, including our 4.8 million smart meters, which ensured a strong response performance and delivered benefits for our customers, including fewer outages and faster restoration times.”
During Hurricane Matthew, which impacted 1.2 million FPL customers across the state in October, smart grid automated switches on FPL’s grid infrastructure prevented approximately 118,000 outages, validating that the significant smart grid investments made over the last decade are benefiting customers.
In addition, main power lines that have been strengthened performed significantly better than non-strengthened main power lines, and no poles along FPL’s transmission or distribution network failed due to wind. Any damage to the company’s electrical equipment was due largely to flying debris, and fallen trees and limbs.
Continued investments in the energy grid also helped reduce the number and duration of outages customers experienced during Hurricane Hermine in September. More than 110,000 customers were impacted by Hurricane Hermine and smart grid devices prevented approximately 25,000 outages.
Of those impacted by power outages, the average time without electricity was less than three hours – evidence that the significant investments the company has been making in its grid during the past decade are helping deliver reliable service for customers in good weather and bad.
- FPL has invested more than $2 billion since 2006 to build a stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient energy grid, including:
- Strengthening more than 600 main power lines, including those that service more than 700 critical community facilities;
- Placing more than 450 main power lines underground;
- Clearing vegetation – a major cause of power outages – from more than 135,000 miles of power lines;
- Completing more than 1.4 million pole inspections – and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet our standards for strength;
- Installing 4.8 million smart meters and 36,000 intelligent devices along the electric grid using advanced technology that helps detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.
“In addition to our continued investments in our energy grid, the energy of our team is also critical to help get the lights back on for our customers when they need us the most,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL.
“And, that includes the community partners, utilities and contractors we worked with to restore, rebuild and recover after this year’s storms. We share these awards with the extended team of first responders who ensured we restored service for our customers safely and as quickly as possible.”
Davies Consulting’s “Communications Excellence” and “Most Innovative Practice” awards recognize FPL’s one-voice emergency approach, comprehensive incident communication plan, and robust and integrated Emergency Communication Team, as well as the company’s use of innovative response applications and tools in 2016 storm season.
FPL’s leadership in building a stronger, smarter energy grid and leveraging the latest technology to deliver reliable service to customers was also recently recognized with the 2016 ReliabilityOn National Reliability Excellence Award by PA Consulting Group, Inc. for the second consecutive year.
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