FPL’s Emergency Response Wins National Awards For Performance After Hurricane Matthew
By Space Coast Daily // January 12, 2017
FLORIDA – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced Wednesday it has received Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) “Emergency Recovery” and “Emergency Assistance” awards for its outstanding restoration efforts after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, and for assisting neighbor utility Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) in its recovery efforts after Matthew.
“FPL’s significant investments to make our system stronger, smarter and more resilient, and the unwavering dedication of our team, including our employees and partners, were critical to our performance during Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO for FPL.
“Thanks to our efforts to harden the electric system and leverage advanced smart grid technology, we delivered outstanding results including fewer outages and faster restoration times for our customers.”
During Hurricane Hermine in September 2016, FPL crews worked safely and quickly to restore service to 100 percent of its customers impacted by the storm within 24 hours of Hermine’s passing, and customers experienced an average outage duration of less than three hours. FPL’s investments in smart grid automated switches also helped prevent 25,000 customer interruptions.
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a Category 3 hurricane, impacted more than 1.2 million customers across major portions of FPL’s service area. The company’s prompt response to the largest storm affecting Florida in more than a decade was the most effective in company history. By strengthening its electric system and leveraging smart grid technology, FPL restored 99 percent of customers affected by the end of two full days of restoration following Hurricane Matthew’s exit from its service area.
Smart grid automated switches on FPL’s system prevented approximately 118,000 customer interruptions, and hardened distribution main power lines performed 30 percent better than non-hardened main power lines. Furthermore, no FPL transmission poles and hardened main power line poles failed due to high winds.
FPL participates in a mutual assistance program with other electric utilities from across the nation. During Hurricane Matthew, FPL received assistance from other utilities, as well as provided support to JEA to help get life back to normal for the state.
“FPL’s commitment to restore service for its customers safely and quickly, and lend a hand to its utility partner is remarkable,” said Tom Kuhn, president for EEI.
“The company and its storm response team is undoubtedly deserving of this national recognition.”
The EEI Emergency Recovery and Assistance awards are presented twice annually to member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers and assist other electric companies after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and awarded at EEI’s winter Board of Directors and CEO meeting.