FPL strengthens electric infrastructure serving Coral Gables
Florida Power & Light Company is continuing its initiative to strengthen the electric infrastructure and improve service reliability in and near Coral Gables and is on track to complete key improvements this year, the company said in a recent press release.
The upgrades are part of the company’s $200 million investment in 2012 to improve everyday reliability, better prepare the electric system to withstand Florida’s powerful winds and storms as well as speed up service restoration when outages occur:
By the end of this year, FPL will inspect more than 800 utility poles, clear vegetation from approximately 130 miles of power lines and use advanced infrared technology to examine seven main power lines in and near Coral Gables.
“FPL has the most reliable service of any investor-owned utility in Florida and ranks among the very best in the nation,” said FPL External Affairs Manager Ramon Ferrer. “Our typical residential customer bill is the lowest out of the 55 electric utilities in the state. While no utility can ever be completely interruption-proof, we’re working hard every day to provide our customers with electric service they can count on.”
FPL customers can visit www.FPL.com/maps and enter their street address to see a detailed map of electrical improvements in their neighborhoods. This online tool shows the system improvements – including pole inspections, line clearing, power line strengthening and power line inspections – FPL has made in neighborhoods in Coral Gables.
When the planned upgrades are completed, FPL will have made the following improvements and investments benefiting the City of Coral Gables since the start of its comprehensive strengthening program in 2006:
Ø Upgraded equipment and strengthened the main power lines serving critical and other community facilities – hospitals, 911 operations, police stations and others – in and near Coral Gables, including Kindred Hospital, Coral Gables Hospital, Doctors Hospital and a 911 emergency communications center. FPL has completed strengthening the electric infrastructure serving every existing major hospital and acute care facility in its service territory as well as virtually all originally identified 911 facilities and emergency operations centers.
Ø Inspected more than 9,800 utility poles for strength – 91 percent of the poles in Coral Gables – reinforcing or replacing them as necessary. The company is on schedule to complete its long-term program for inspecting the more than 1.1 million distribution poles and 65,000 transmission structures in its electric system.
Ø Cleared vegetation along more than 900 miles of power lines in Coral Gables. Tree limbs, palm fronds and other vegetation that come into contact with power lines are a common cause of power outages and flickers. In 2012 alone, FPL plans to clear vegetation along more than 12,000 miles of distribution power lines throughout its service area.
Ø Inspected 42 main power lines and equipment in and near Coral Gables using advanced infrared technology to detect and address issues unseen by the naked eye before they become problems or outages.
Across its service area, FPL has cleared vegetation from more than 75,000 miles of power lines since 2006 to help keep reliability high. The company has further strengthened its electric infrastructure by inspecting more than 800,000 utility poles since 2006. During that time, the company has also strengthened 318 main power lines serving critical and community facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency operations centers.
FPL’s strong service reliability ranks in the top 25 percent of comparable utilities nationwide and again ranked first for reliability among investor-owned utilities in Florida for 2011 – the sixth consecutive year. In addition, the company has received the ServiceOne Award for exceptional customer service for eight years in a row.
Following the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons that saw seven storms in a 15-month period, FPL responded to the state’s call to maintain a high level of storm preparation and keep service reliability high. FPL embarked on a series of comprehensive investments and improvements to strengthen its electric infrastructure to better withstand the impact of severe weather.
The work is also designed to further reduce customer outages through aggressive preventive maintenance on its power lines and equipment. For the period 2006-2011, FPL invested more than $900 million to strengthen the electric grid against major storms, keep service reliability high as well as speed up service restoration time when outages occur.
FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.