FPL expanding artificial reef system off St. Lucie County Coast Old poles to be sunk as part of recycling project while new poles will help improve electric service reliability
JUNO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that during the month of October, it has removed and donated 25 power line poles that will be recycled to create another artificial reef – the third one in less than a year – off the coast of St. Lucie County. Since 2005, FPL has partnered with the county and state agencies in creating four artificial reefs.
"At FPL, we are constantly making improvements to our electric system with a keen focus on enhancing service reliability," said FPL Environmental Project Manager Jackie Kingston. "This project is a win-win for our customers and the greater community, and further demonstrates FPL's commitment to enhancing the environment in which we live and work, while at the same time, delivering on our commitment to providing the high quality of service our customers have come to expect of us."
The older utility poles have been replaced with more storm-resilient poles, which is part of the company's effort to enhance service reliability to area customers in St. Lucie County. The older poles, weighing a total of about 350 tons, or the equivalent of 233 mid-sized cars, have been transported to Harbour Pointe Park in Fort Pierce, where they will be submerged off the coast to form a new reef.
Including these latest poles, FPL has donated about 2,700 tons of material, or the equivalent of 1,800 mid-sized cars, to St. Lucie County's artificial reef program, which is funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and private donations. The county's artificial reef program has spared thousands of tons of concrete from landfills, while creating underwater habitats teeming with marine life for anglers and divers to enjoy.
"FPL has been a great partner in our efforts to increase the artificial reefs off of our coast," said Jim Oppenborn, St. Lucie County marine resource coordinator. "The initial artificial reef created by FPL in 2005 has become very popular for fishing and diving, featuring more than 30 species of fish and various sea life growing on the concrete poles. These reefs have also generated economic opportunities for area businesses, providing services to visitors enjoying the reefs."
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company