According to a release, the awards help close out the 2016 hurricane season, ending Florida’s more than decade-long hurricane drought and highlighting how FPL’s continued investments in the energy grid are delivering benefits for customers. The awards served to highlight FPL’s application of “innovative processes and tools” to restore service to customers faster following a storm. [FPL receives national award for excellence in reliability]
Eric Silagy, president and CEO for FPL, said: “Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew tested our storm readiness, highlighting the importance of being prepared, leveraging the latest tools and processes, and continuing to invest in our system to make it stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient.
“These awards are a testament to our team’s extensive preparation and training, and FPL’s investments to harden our system, upgrade power lines and poles, and leverage innovative smart grid technology, including our 4.8 million smart meters, which ensured a strong response performance and delivered benefits for our customers, including fewer outages and faster restoration times.”
Hurricane Matthew reportedly impacted 1.2 million FPL customers across the state in October. During the storm, smart grid automated switches on FPL’s grid infrastructure prevented approximately 118,000 outages, validating that the significant smart grid investments made over the last decade are benefiting customers. [FPL installs smart grid switches to address outages]
Moreover, main power lines that have been strengthened performed significantly better than non-strengthened main power lines, and no poles along FPL’s transmission or distribution network failed due to wind. Any damage to the company’s electrical equipment was due largely to flying debris, and fallen trees and limbs.
The release notes that continued investments in the energy grid also helped reduce the number and duration of outages customers experienced during Hurricane Hermine in September. More than 110,000 customers were impacted by Hurricane Hermine and smart grid devices prevented approximately 25,000 outages.
Of those impacted by power outages, the average time without electricity was less than three hours – evidence that the significant investments the company has been making in its grid during the past decade are helping deliver reliable service for customers in good weather and bad.
“In addition to our continued investments in our energy grid, the energy of our team is also critical to help get the lights back on for our customers when they need us the most,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL.
“And, that includes the community partners, utilities and contractors we worked with to restore, rebuild and recover after this year’s storms. We share these awards with the extended team of first responders who ensured we restored service for our customers safely and as quickly as possible.”