Florida utility opens new energy distribution command centre

Florida Power and Light Company launched its new energy distribution control centre in West Palm Beach to enhance the management and maintenance of its grid network.

The utility’s new energy distribution control centre is designed to improve FPL’s communication efficiency with consumers and field crews during emergency restoration periods.

FPL established the facility to avoid pressure on its existing command centres. The West Palm Beach control centre will support the energy company’s existing two control centres in Miami and Sarasota.

In a press statement, Eric Silagy, CEO of FPL, said the establishment of the facility is a measure by the utility firm to improve its customer service by enhancing its storm and outage response capabilities.

“Since Hurricane Andrew, 25 years ago, this year, and the historic hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, FPL has invested billions of dollars to make our system stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient.

“Most recently, these investments provided benefits for our customers during Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, with fewer outages and faster restoration times. And, we continue to improve our storm response capabilities, now with the construction of a hardened distribution control centre that will position us to get the lights on faster for our customers,” added Silagy.

Apart from establishing the new energy distribution control centre, FPL is investing in improving its existing control centres, equipping them with the latest technologies, which would allow the utility to detect outages and simplify communication with its over 1,000 field crews.

Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL, said: “The new distribution control centre and hardened service center facilities will further strengthen our storm response capabilities, ensuring better collaboration during emergency events and allowing crews to quickly get to the hardest hit neighbourhoods to restore service.”

The utility claims that its $2 billion investments in smart grid technologies over the past decade enabled the firm to quickly restore power within 24 hours to all its customers affected by Hurricane Hermine and Matthew in 2016.

FPL used the $2 billion smart grid investments to install automated switches within its grid network resulting in the prevention of 25,000 customer interruptions. [FPL installs smart grid switches to address outages]

The utility reported that it’s hardened distribution main power lines performed 30% better than non-hardened main power lines.


Image credit: www.bnl.com.

Previous articleItron to help Canadian water firm modernise distribution system
Next articleAsia Pacific touted to become global leader in clean energy
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.