EEI > Delivering The Future

​Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) employees tested their ability to respond to Hurricane Alexa – a simulated Category 2 hurricane – during the company's annual storm drill in Riviera Beach, Fla.

Always Ready to Respond to Severe Weather
August 2016
Energy is essential to our daily lives. Yet, we rarely think about electricity, unless we are without it, such as when a severe storm hits. Energy companies are tasked with ensuring this community lifeline is available, especially in the aftermath of a storm. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is at the forefront of storm preparedness with a comprehensive plan and continued investments to strengthen its energy grid.

"At FPL, we know how important reliable service is for our customers and we are focused on providing safe and reliable energy always, in good weather and bad,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our team prepares year-round to ensure we are ready to respond when severe weather strikes – training extensively and incorporating lessons learned from previous storms so we can reduce the number and duration of outages that our customers experience.” 

Every year, FPL employees participate in a drill to test their storm readiness. This year, to exercise FPL’s restoration plan, more than 3,000 employees put to practice their preparedness in response to Hurricane Alexa, a virtual Category 2 storm that was simulated to make landfall in FPL’s service area. As part of the training, employees tracked outages, assessed damage and planned service restoration. 

In addition to extensively training its employees, FPL also works year-round to cultivate relationships with out-of-state energy companies and other partners to ensure when a hurricane threatens Florida it can draw on additional crews to strengthen its well-trained restoration team. In turn, the company supports its partners with their restoration efforts. In the past, FPL has provided assistance to areas impacted by major weather events, including the deployment of approximately 1,000 FPL workers to the Northeast in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

FPL has also strengthened its infrastructure, investing in the latest smart grid technology to improve service reliability. Since 2006, after the historic hurricane season of 2004-05, FPL has invested more than $2 billion to strengthen its energy grid. Enhancements include:
  • Strengthening more than 600 main power lines, including those that serve more than 700 critical community facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations, and emergency communication systems;
  • Placing more than 450 main power lines underground;
  • Clearing vegetation – a major cause of power outages – from more than 135,000 miles of power lines;
  • Completing more than 1.4 million pole inspections – ​and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet FPL’s standards for strength; and
  • Installing 4.8 million smart meters and 36,000 intelligent devices along the energy grid using advanced technology that helps detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.
"As Floridians, we understand hurricanes are devastating forces of nature and power outages will occur; however, the significant investments we've made in recent years have placed FPL in the best possible position to restore power to our customers faster following a storm,” said FPL Senior Vice President of Power Delivery Manny Miranda. 

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recently recognized FPL’s storm restoration efforts with an “Emergency Recovery Award” for its response to tornadoes and severe weather that hit Southwest Florida in January 2016. 

Headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., FPL is the third-largest electric company in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. For more information on how the company prepares for storms, visit FPL.com/storm​