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FPL Is Upgrading Hollywood: Analyzing Data from Past Hurricanes To Strengthen The City

May 31, 2023

The Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is planning to make a number of upgrades in Hollywood as part of its ongoing effort to improve resiliency in the face of severe weather. Part of these investments include moving more power lines underground, strengthening overhead lines and installing more intelligent devices along the energy grid to help detect potential problems and restore power faster when outages do occur. The investments have the added benefit of improving day-to-day reliability for customers as well.

With Hurricane Season approaching it's a good time to plan for the future and that's exactly what FPL is doing. Florida Power & Light has multiple projects to make the electric grid in Hollywood more resilient during and after a store as well as for the future. One of their plans is the 'One Storm Secure Underground Program (SSUP) Project.' The program started in 2018 to replace more overhead neighborhood power lines with underground service.

The Storm Secure Underground Program analyzes data from past hurricanes, vegetation-related service interruptions and other reliability metrics to identify areas in Hollywood and the surrounding communities that would most benefit from having power lines placed underground.

Another storm related project is to strengthen 10 main power lines in the area, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms. Part of this plan includes maintaining trees and vegetation which is a common cause of power outages, particularly during hurricanes and severe weather along 252 miles of power lines.

FPL is not just focusing on the lines themselves, but they will also be inspecting 3,267 power poles in Hollywood as part of an eight-year inspection cycle. If needed they will strengthen or replace those that no longer meet FPL’s industry-leading standards. Along with upgrading power lines and poles, FPL will be installing smart grid technology, including 32 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.

Sometimes you can't see every potential problem with the naked eye, so FPL will be inspecting 96 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology. Infrared cameras can find otherwise undetectable issues with power lines and equipment. This infrared camera technology helps FPL locate many potential problems and address them before they cause an outage.

When the planned 2023 work is completed, FPL will have made the following improvements in and near Hollywood since the historic 2004-2005 hurricane seasons:
• Strengthened 56 main power lines, including those that serve critical services.
• Inspected and maintained vegetation near 2,982 miles of power lines -- an average of 175 miles per year.
• Inspected all 20,351 power poles every eight years.
• Installed smart grid technology, including 1,940 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines.
• Inspected 162 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology.

“No energy grid is hurricane-proof and storms will continue to cause power outages, but detailed assessments following 2022’s Hurricanes Ian and Nicole showed FPL’s investments to storm-harden its energy grid continue to benefit customers, speeding restoration,” said Manny Miranda, Executive Vice President of Power Delivery for FPL.

Strengthening power poles, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, installing smart grid technology to fix problems before they affect customers and using robots and drones to regularly inspect equipment have all helped FPL improve its service reliability by 41% since 2006. These upgrades have helped reduce both the number and duration of outages, as well as the number of momentary interruptions or power flickers.

SSUP is a concerted effort to place more neighborhood power lines underground. It is designed to help speed restoration efforts, reduce restoration costs and reduce customer outages. FPL completed more than 1,200 SSUP projects since SSUP started and will expand the program in 2023, with about 750 projects planned across the state.

“We are committed to investing in innovative solutions and technology,” said Ben Wesley, Local External Affairs Manager for FPL. “We work year-round so our customers across Florida can resume their normal lives safely and as quickly as possible after storms.”

In 2022, for the seventh time in eight years, FPL was awarded the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award. Presented by PA Consulting, the award is widely regarded in the energy industry as one of the most prestigious honors and reinforces FPL’s commitment to provide customers with the nation’s most reliable service.

FPL is America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to approximately 5.8 million accounts, or more than 12 million people.

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