FPL: Power Grids In Boca, Delray Stronger Than Before Hurricane Irma

hurricane News

FPL Boca Raton
It took days for FPL to mobilize crews in Palm Beach County following Hurricane Irma in 2017. (Photo: BocaNewsNow.com file).

DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (April 9, 2018) — FPL has issued two press releases about strengthening the power system in both Boca Raton and Delray Beach. We are publishing both press releases as provided by FPL. Hurricane season starts June 1st. Remember: much of South Palm Beach County was without power for nearly a week following Irma, and it took several days for FPL crews to mobilize. We were told by several high level sources that FPL sent too many crews to assist in Texas and was caught off guard in South Florida. With that in mind, here are the latest press releases from FPL:
BOCA RATON PRESS RELEASE (Scroll down for the Delray release). 
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) continues to upgrade its system in the Boca Raton area as part of its ongoing work to strengthen the energy grid and improve service reliability for customers. Company investments, which include strengthening power lines and poles, trimming trees near power lines and installing smart grid technology, help make the grid more reliable day-to-day and speed restoration efforts following a major storm.
“We continue to build a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our ongoing investments in FPL’s energy grid and advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This was evident during our restoration efforts after recent hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma, during which we responded quickly, considering the size and scope of the storm and compared to Hurricane Wilma – the last major storm to affect our service area.”
FPL’s investments to the grid proved its benefits to customers by speeding the restoration efforts following Hurricane Irma. About 95 percent of customers had their power restored within seven days after the storm’s passing compared to 15 days after 2005’s Hurricane Wilma. Hardened or strengthened main power lines withstood the storm’s impact better than those that were not hardened. For example, a fraction of the number of poles was damaged in Hurricane Irma compared to Hurricane Wilma. Smart grid technology enabled customers to avoid approximately 546,000 outages during the storm.
Strengthened power lines perform approximately 40 percent better than non-strengthened lines, improving everyday reliability throughout the year and speeding restoration efforts during severe weather such as summer thunderstorms.
2018 improvements in the Boca Raton area
When the planned 2018 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Boca Raton since 2006:

  • Strengthened 14 main power lines, including those that serve critical services, such as Boca Raton Regional Hospital, West Boca Medical Center, city of Boca Raton Emergency Operations Center and a water treatment plant, that are necessary for communities to recover faster after a storm;
  • Cleared tree branches and vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from 1,501 miles of power lines, an average of 125 miles every year;
  • Inspected all 9,749 power poles every eight years, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s standards for strength;
  • Installed smart grid technology, including 447 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur; and
  • Inspected 105 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption.

“FPL has the most reliable service of any energy company in Florida, but we’re 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 improvement projects in the area, including Florida Atlantic University, and both the CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens on Clint Moore Road.”
DELRAY PRESS RELEASE FROM FPL:
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) continues to upgrade its system in the Delray Beach area as part of its ongoing work to strengthen the energy grid and improve service reliability for customers. Company investments, which include strengthening power lines and poles, trimming trees near power lines and installing smart grid technology, help make the grid more reliable day-to-day and speed restoration efforts following a major storm.
“We continue to build a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our ongoing investments in FPL’s energy grid and advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This was evident during our restoration efforts after recent hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma, during which we responded quickly, considering the size and scope of the storm and compared to Hurricane Wilma – the last major storm to affect our service area.”
FPL’s investments to the grid proved its benefits to customers by speeding the restoration efforts following Hurricane Irma. About 95 percent of customers had their power restored within seven days after the storm’s passing compared to 15 days after 2005’s Hurricane Wilma. Hardened or strengthened main power lines withstood the storm’s impact better than those that were not hardened. For example, a fraction of the number of poles was damaged in Hurricane Irma compared to Hurricane Wilma. Smart grid technology enabled customers to avoid approximately 546,000 outages during the storm.
Strengthened power lines perform approximately 40 percent better than non-strengthened lines, improving everyday reliability throughout the year and speeding restoration efforts during severe weather such as summer thunderstorms.
2018 improvements in the Delray Beach area
When the planned 2018 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Delray Beach since 2006:

  • Strengthened seven main power lines, including those that serve critical services, such as Delray Medical Center, the city of Delray Beach Water Treatment Plant and a Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue station, that are necessary for communities to recover faster after a storm;
  • Cleared tree branches and vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from 1,562 miles of power lines, an average of 130 miles every year;
  • Inspected all 12,194 power poles every eight years, strengthening or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s standards for strength;
  • Installed smart grid technology, including 596 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur; and
  • Inspected 90 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption.

“FPL has the most reliable service of any energy company in Florida, but we’re 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 Delray Beach area with electric service they can count on. This includes several new improvement projects in the area, including several city of Delray Beach facilities, businesses on Federal Highway and the Publix Supermarket on Fifth Avenue.”
 Strengthening the FPL grid throughout Florida
Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $3 billion, as well as ongoing maintenance and improvement work, to make the energy grid stronger and smarter. This includes:

  • Strengthening 860 main power lines, including those that serve critical community facilities and services, such as hospitals, police and fire stations and other services necessary for communities to recover after a storm;
  • Clearing vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from more than 15,000 miles of power lines annually;
  • Inspecting the company’s 1.2 million power poles every eight years, and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet our standards for strength; and
  • Installing 4.9 million smart meters and 90,000 intelligent devices along the energy grid using advanced technology that helps detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.