In the US, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) says that its continuing upgrades to its system in Boca Raton.The upgrades form part of FPL's ongoing work to strengthen the power grid and improve service reliability ahead of the 2017 storm season, reports The Boca Raton Tribune.
The Tribune goes on to say that upgrades include strengthening power lines and power poles, trimming trees around power lines and installing smart grid technology, help make the grid more reliable from day-to-day and more storm-resilient.
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, said: "We continue to build a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round.
“Our ongoing investments in strengthening the electric grid and utilizing advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This was never more evident than during last year’s hurricane season.”
Strengthened power lines perform approximately 40% better than lines that have not been strengthened, reports The Tribune which improves reliability and speeds restoration efforts during severe weather such as afternoon summer thunderstorms.
Planned investments in Boca Raton for 2017
Florida, Power & Light has set out a series of investments for 2017, and once these upgrades are complete, the utility would have concluded a significant number of upgrades to its power infrastructure.
These improvements include the strengthening of 13 main power lines, including those that serve all critical and community services, such as Boca Raton Community Hospital, West Boca Medical Center, City of Boca Raton Emergency Operations Center and a water treatment plant, which are necessary for communities to recover after a storm.
FPL is also working to clear tree branches and vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from 157 miles (252 km) of power lines every year, and more than 1,725 miles (2776 km) since 2006; inspected all 10,406 power poles every eight years, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet the company’s standards for strength; installed smart grid technology, including 54 automated switches on main power lines and 472 automated switches on smaller power lines serving neighborhoods, to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur; and inspected 114 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues prior to them causing a power interruption.
“FPL has the most reliable service of any investor-owned energy company in Florida, but we are never satisfied,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL. “We’re working hard every day to provide our customers within the Boca Raton area with electric service they can count on. This includes several new projects in the area, such as the community thoroughfare along North Federal Highway.”