Florida Power & Light prepares for hurricane season

Published 2 February 2006

FP&L is not waiting for the hurricane season to begin to take more drastic measures than it did in the past to get ready

The Florida Power & Light has presented a plan to the Florida Public Service Commission which includes chipping in to put lines underground and clearing more lines of vegetation before the start of yearly hurricane seasons.The five-point plan FP&L submitted calls for:

Hardening the electric network to sustain winds of up to 150 mph in certain areas. FP&L noted its conversion to higher standards will take years to complete, but said it will give priority to distribution feeders, or main lines serving critical infrastructure facilities, and the major thoroughfares where businesses that provide basic necessities such as fuel and food are located. The company is working with to develop a ten-year plan for all infrastructure hardening projects.

Investing in underground conversions. FP&L noted more than 37 percent of its current system is already underground. The company will pay 25 percent of the cost to convert overhead lines to underground for local, government-sponsored conversions. FP&L will also encourage local government ordinances to require developers to provide underground electrical service for new subdivisions, developments and projects.

Pole inspections on a ten-year cycle, rather than checking poles when they require other maintenance.

Increasing line-clearing activities 27 percent this year. Each year, the company said it expects to complete 75 percent of its planned feeder line clearing by 31 July. FP&L said, however, that it will clear power lines serving critical infrastructure facilities every year by 31 May, before the start of the hurricane season.

Post-hurricane repairs and targeted facility upgrades to repair or replace distribution, transmission, and substation facilities that were damaged during prior hurricanes. The company also said it is working to strengthen targeted facilities before the 2006 hurricane season starts.

-read more in this report