FPL installing advanced, automated switches to expand the smart grid, deliver reliable service to customers
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has planned a number of system upgrades in the Doral area, including the deployment of new smart grid technology as part of its ongoing work to provide customers with affordable, reliable electric service. In 2015, FPL will install one automated switch along its main “feeder” power lines and 52 automated switches along smaller “lateral” lines serving neighborhoods in Doral as part of the company’s electric system upgrades in the area.
“FPL is investing to build a stronger and smarter grid our customers in Doral can count on in good weather and bad. This includes a number of new projects in the area, starting with the installation of smart, automated switches that provide greater visibility across the electric system and allow us to restore power for our customers faster when there is an issue,” said Manny Miranda, FPL senior vice president of Power Delivery.
The automated devices detect and prevent potential problems along the electric grid, as well as restore and reroute power, when necessary, to reduce the number of customers affected by an outage.
2015 Work in Doral
In addition to the installation of the automated switches, FPL will upgrade four main power lines in Doral serving key facilities, such as the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Station 48, the Miami-Dade County Police Department Midwest District Station, and a Florida Department of Corrections facility. The project strengthens the electric system to better withstand major storms and allow for faster service restoration following power outages. The work includes installing stronger utility poles, including in some projects, concrete poles that are designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 145 mph.
Additionally in Doral FPL will also clear vegetation – a common cause of power outages – from 75 miles of power lines.
Strengthening the Grid
When the planned 2015 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Doral since the last major hurricane season in 2005:
- Reinforced 12 main power lines, including those serving critical local facilities such as Baptist Medical Plaza and a 911 emergency communications center.
- Inspected 2,980 utility poles, restoring or replacing those that no longer meet the company’s standards for strength.
- Cleared 685 miles of power lines of trees and vegetation – a major cause of power outages.
- Inspected 59 main power lines and equipment using the latest infrared technology, helping FPL address issues before they cause outages.
Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $2 billion across its 35-county service area – in addition to its other ongoing system maintenance and improvement work – to make the electric grid stronger and smarter.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.8 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2014, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the fifth year in a row. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International, and has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being ranked in the top 10 worldwide for innovativeness and community responsibility as part of Fortune’s 2015 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.