FPL Plans to Upgrade Energy Grid in Okaloosa and Walton Counties

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Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is upgrading the energy grids in Okaloosa and Walton Counties this year to enhance day-to-day reliability in our communities and improve resiliency in the face of severe weather.

Strengthening power poles, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, installing smart grid technology and regularly inspecting equipment have helped improve service reliability by 58% since customers in Northwest Florida became part of the FPL family in 2019.

2022 Improvements in Okaloosa County
• Strengthening seven main power lines, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms.
• Managing trees and vegetation – a common cause of power outages, particularly during hurricanes and severe weather – along 287 miles of power lines.
• Installing smart grid technology, including 716 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines, to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.
FPL made the following improvements in Okaloosa County from 2019 – 2021:
• Strengthened 16 miles of main power lines, including those that serve critical services.
• Inspected and maintained vegetation near 820 miles of power lines.
• Inspected 23,348 power poles for strength.
• Installed smart grid technology, including 1,204 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines.
• Inspected 239 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology.

2022 Improvements in Walton County
• Strengthening six main power lines, including those that serve critical services that are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms.
• Managing trees and vegetation – a common cause of power outages, particularly during hurricanes and severe weather — along 53 miles of power lines.
• Installing smart grid technology, including 254 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines, to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.

FPL made the following improvements in Walton County from 2019 – 2021:
• Strengthened three miles of main power lines, including those that serve critical services.
• Inspected and maintained vegetation near 191 miles of power lines.
• Inspected 2,486 power poles for strength.
• Installed smart grid technology, including 111 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines.
• Inspected 63 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology.

FPL’s adoption of emerging technology helps improve day-to-day service reliability. Drones and robots are used to conduct regular assessments and locate potential power issues to fix many problems before they affect customers. Intelligent devices can automatically redirect power, self-heal and eliminate or minimize customers affected — resulting in more than 10 million outages avoided over the last decade for FPL customers.

FPL is also continuing to boost reliability by putting more power lines underground in neighborhoods that can most benefit based on analysis of past hurricane outages, vegetation-related service interruptions and other reliability data. FPL’s Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program will complete 11 projects in Northwest Florida by the end of 2022, and FPL plans to bring the benefits of undergrounding to more neighborhoods across Florida in the future.

In 2021, the average customer in Northwest Florida experienced the fewest outages and momentary interruptions or flickers of any year in company history and the shortest overall duration of outages ever. FPL in 2021 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award for the sixth time in seven years. 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 its more than 5.7 million customers with the nation’s most reliable service.