Florida Power & Light Customers See 45% Improvement in Reliability Over Last Decade
By Space Coast Daily // May 3, 2022
FPL reports best-ever electric service reliability in company history
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Floridians know the drill for hurricane season by now, but with thousands of new residents migrating to Florida during the pandemic, there are many who are unprepared. In the Sunshine State, it’s not a matter of if, but when the next storm will hit.
Fortunately, Florida Power & Light Company prepares year-round for hurricane season by continuously improving the energy grid to make it stronger, smarter and more storm resilient. In addition to making the grid better able to withstand a hurricane or extreme weather event, FPL’s investments have helped improve day-to-day reliability.
FPL’s ongoing improvements to the energy grid include strengthening power lines and poles, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, installing smart grid technology and undergrounding power lines in select areas.
Thanks to these investments, FPL customers received the most reliable service in the company’s history in 2021, continuing a trend in which FPL has improved reliability by 45% over the last decade.
An annual report filed by FPL with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) showed that key industry metrics the company uses to track its electric service were better than ever before in 2021, including the average amount of time an FPL customer experienced an outage; the average number of interruptions experienced by a customer; and the average number of momentary interruptions or flickers.
Since the historic 2004-05 hurricane seasons, FPL has made significant investments to protect the grid against extreme weather and improve day-to-day reliability.
■ Replacing wooden transmission structures with new ones made of steel or concrete.
■ Hardening main power lines that serve critical community facilities and services.
■ Inspecting power poles and repairing or replacing those that don’t meet FPL’s standards for strength.
■ Installing more than 195,000 intelligent devices along the grid to detect and prevent power outages and minimize restoration times when outages occur.
■ Conducting daily drone flights (more than 120,000 in 2021) to proactively identify potential areas of concern before an outage occurs and help assess damage following severe weather
■ Managing trees and other vegetation along more than 25,000 miles of power lines each year to reduce a leading cause of outages.
In addition, FPL is continuing to boost reliability by putting more power lines underground in neighborhoods that can most benefit based on analysis of past hurricane outages, vegetation-related service interruptions and other reliability data.
FPL’s Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program, launched in 2018, completed about 600 neighborhood projects through the end of 2021. In Broward County, 130 undergrounding projects have been completed since the start of the program, with 80 more targeted in 2022 alone.
Reinforcing the impact of these investments, FPL was awarded the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award in 2021, presented by PA Consulting, for the sixth time in seven years. In addition to this recognition, the company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer StudySM and 2021 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM.
As FPL continues to invest in a strong, smart and storm-resilient energy grid, the company strives to maintain the highest level of reliability with goals to create an even brighter and bolder electric future for all Florida customers. While these investments are crucial to ongoing storm season preparations, it is also important for Floridians to be prepared.
FPL advises that customers’ hurricane plans, like FPL’s, should anticipate that a direct strike by a major hurricane could damage the energy grid, causing customers to be without power for an extended period.
As June 1 approaches, Floridians can visit FPL.com/storm for checklists and other information to help prepare and develop a hurricane plan.