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FPL strengthens energy grid serving the Village

Source: 
Pinecrest Tribune

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) continues to upgrade its system in Pinecrest and its surrounding areas as part of its ongoing work to strengthen the energy grid and improve the reliability of its service for customers. Company investments, which include strengthening power lines and poles, trimming trees near power lines and installing smart grid technology, help make the grid more reliable day-to-day and speed restoration efforts following major storms.

"We continue to build one of the nation's strongest, smartest and most storm-resilient energy grids using advanced smart grid technology to continue delivering reliable electricity that our customers can count on," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Last year, FPL customers experienced record-setting electric service reliability, in part due to smart devices, and we will continue to use emerging technology to find innovative ways to deliver cleaner energy while keeping costs 30 percent below the national average."

During this year, FPL plans to make the following improvements in and near Pinecrest and its surrounding areas:

• Strengthening three main power lines, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms.

• Inspecting and clearing tree branches and vegetation- a major cause of power outages-from 201 miles of power lines.

• As of this year, will have inspected 100 percent of power poles in the city over the past eight-year inspection cycle, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet FPL's standards.

• Installing smart grid technology, 416 au-tom a ted switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.

• Inspecting five main power lines a nd equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interr rru ption.

WHEN THE PLANNED 2020 WORK IS COMPLETED, FPL WILL HAVE MADE THE FOLLOWING IMPROVEMENTS IN AND NEAR PINECREST AND ITS SURROUNDING

AREAS SINCE THE HISTORIC 2004-2005 HURRIC CANE SEASONS

• Str rengthened 15 main power lines, ing cluding those that serve critical services.

• Re viewed 2,559 miles of power lines, clearin ng an average 183 miles of tree branch hes and vegetation per year.

• Ins spected all 17,299 power poles every eight years.

• Insstalled smart grid technology, including 1,5 575 automated switches on main and neighb borhood power lines.

• Ins spected 110 main power lines and equipm ment using infr a red technology.

In 2018, the company started the Storm Secure Underground Program, a three-year pilot to find cost-effective ways to replace overhe ad power lines with more reliable unund dergrou lines in select neighborhoods to further enhance customers' service and the energy grid's resiliency. The pilot targets neighb borhoods that experienced an outage during Hurrricanes Matt tthew and/or Irma and have a history of outages caused primarily by veg et a tion, which in Florida grows ye a rround. This year, 10 projects are planned in Pinecreest and its surrounding areas.

"FPL is a national leader in the reliability of se rvice to its customers, but we're never sat t-past isfied," sa id Man ann y Miranda, senior vice pres-f ident of power delivery for FPL. "We continue to impllement projects that have demonstrated their value to our customers, while looking at the lateest technology and lessons learned from storms to develop neew ways of enhancing the reliability of our service."

The Storm Protection Plan that FPLfiled recently with the Flo rida Public Service Commission (FPSC) is a continuation of the existing comprehen nsive hardening prony grams that the compan has undertaken for nearly 15 years. These programs have benuccessfully efited customers by su f reducing restoration costs and outage times during major storms, as well as improving day-today service reliability. FPL's Storm Protecon tion Plan also builds the company's long-standing track record of building America's strongest and smartest energy grid while keeping cus stomers' bills a mong the lowest in the count try.

STRENGTHENING THE FPL GRID THROUGHOUT FLORIDA

Since 2006, FPL ha as invested over $5 billion, as well as ongoing maintenance and improvement work, to make the energy grid stronger and smarter. This includes:

• Hardening over 99 percent of main

power lines serving cri itical community facilities and services, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and 911 centers.

• Installing more tha an 5 million smart meters and more than 120,000 inttellie gent devices along the ennced ergy grid using advan technology that helps detect problems and restore serrvice faster if outages occur.

• Reviewing about 15 5,000 miles of power lines each year and trimming and re-where moving vegetation w necessary to keep lines clear and help prevent outages.

• Completing one fulll inany's spection of the compa 1.2 million power poles and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet FPL's stand a rds for strength (apa proxima tely 150,000 poles inspected a nnu-ally); an nd already starting the next 8--year inspection cycle.

Last year, the company announced an in-main vestment of $2 billion to harden its m power lines and replace all remai ining wooden transmission structures with steel or concrete. By the end of 2022, FPL ext pects that all of its transmission struct u res will be steel or concrete.

FPL was named the winner of the 2019 ReliabilityOne National Reliability Ex xcelting. lence Award presented by PA Consul This is the fourth time in five years that the company has received the national aw ward for providing superior service reliability to the more than 10 million customers ac cross Florida that it serves.

Historically, reliability results indi ic a te that, on average, customers served by unhave derground main power lines tend to h fewer outages comp a red to overhead main power lines. Nearly 50 percent of FPL's 68,000 miles of distribution power lines are already underground.

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