FPL restores power to more than 85,000 customers affected by Hurricane Hermine
- Pre-positioned crews worked through the night to restore power as Hermine's high winds and rain affected more than 96,000 customers throughout FPL's service area; approximately 11,000 remain without power as of 11 a.m.
- With a restoration workforce now totaling approximately 5,500, FPL expects to meet its pre-storm commitment of restoring the majority of customers' power within 24 hours after the storm clears, and to all customers by end of day Saturday
- More than $2 billion worth of investments in FPL's smart grid is resulting in a faster restoration process
JUNO BEACH, Fla., Sept. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that as of this morning, it has restored power to more than 85,000 customers affected by Hurricane Hermine. Approximately 11,000 customers remain without electricity.
"We understand that power outages are an inconvenience for our customers, which is why FPL prepares year-round for hurricanes and severe storms," said Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of FPL. "During the past decade, we have invested billions of dollars to harden our electrical system, upgraded our power lines and poles to be stronger and more resilient, and built one of the most advanced smart grids in the nation. Based upon our initial assessment from this storm, those investments are making a difference, resulting in fewer outages and faster restoration times. At this point in the restoration process, far fewer customers than we originally forecast have experienced outages from Hermine. That speaks directly to the investments we've made to make our electric grid stronger and smarter. We appreciate our customers' patience and we'll continue working around the clock until every customer's power is back on."
FPL crews worked through the night, helped by in- and out-of-state contractors. They restored power in-between bands of severe weather when it was safe to do so and they'll continue to work around the clock to restore customers' power safely and quickly. While the remaining outer bands of winds and rain continue to affect the western and northern parts of FPL's service area, the company expects to restore power to the majority of customers within 24 hours after the storm has cleared, with all customers' service restored by end of day Saturday, Sept. 3. Customers can report or check on the status of an outage at FPL.com/outage.
FPL's investments over the past decade in building an advanced smart grid and strengthening the system have benefited customers in Hermine's path in several specific ways
Automated switches we installed on poles and wires have held up well in the severe weather and were able to keep more than 25,000 people from losing power so far.
Smart meters are showing us who's out of power, versus having to wait for customers to call. FPL has installed 4.8 million smart meters, an integral part of the smart grid.
Poles we upgraded or replaced have performed well and prevented more serious outages. Since 2006, FPL has completed more than 1.4 million pole inspections, and upgraded or replaced those that no longer meet our standards for strength.
Please stay safe
Even when winds and rain have subsided, conditions still can be dangerous. FPL urges customers in stormy and flooded areas to:
Stay far away from downed power lines, flooding and debris; lines could be energized and dangerous.
Customers need to be careful when near flooded areas, where standing water can hide dangerous conditions, such as downed power lines.
Use extreme caution while driving. Power interruptions may cause traffic signals to stop working without warning. If you come to an intersection with a non-working traffic signal, Florida law requires that you treat it as a four-way stop.
FPL is committed to keeping you informed
FPL communicates restoration information to customers frequently through the news media and the following resources:
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people 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 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth 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 received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 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, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 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 about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.