Florida Power & Light (FPL) has planned a number of system upgrades in the Miami 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 17 automated switches along its main “feeder” power lines and 583 automated switches along smaller “lateral” lines serving neighborhoods in the county 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 the City of Miami and other areas throughout the county 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.
WORK IN MIAMI
In addition to the installation of the automated switches, FPL will upgrade the power lines serving key facilities in the Miami area, such as the community thoroughfares along Northwest 107th Avenue, Southwest 42nd Street, and Southwest 120th Street. The projects strengthen the electric system to better withstand major storms and allow for faster service restoration following power outages. The work includes installing stronger utility poles, included in some projects, concrete poles that are designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 145 mph.
Overall, FPL is upgrading eight main power lines in Miami in 2015. Other improvements in the county this year include: inspecting 4,390 utility poles for strength, clearing vegetation – a common cause of power outages – from 295 miles of power lines and inspecting 15 main lines with advanced infrared technology.
STRENGTHENING THE GRID
When the planned 2015 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Miami since the last major hurricane season in 2005:
Reinforced 27 main power lines, including those serving critical local facilities, such as Miami Children’s Hospital, Kendall Regional Medical Center, U.S. National Hurricane Center, a Florida Highway Patrol facility and several Miami area fire rescue and police stations.
Inspected 42,930 utility poles, restoring or replacing those that no longer meet the company’s standards for strength.
Cleared 2,925 miles of power lines of trees and vegetation – a major cause of power outages.
Inspected 218 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.