FPL outlines 2009 storm plans with the PSC

By Palm Beach Business.com Staff

JUNO BEACH — Florida Power & Light Co. said it plans to spend more than $200 million in 2009 as part of its ongoing effort to make its electrical system more hurricane resistant.

The company discussed its 2009 plans and 2008 accomplishments in its annual storm strengthening and reliability report filed today with the Florida Public Service Commission.

“We are continuing to invest to make our infrastructure stronger and more reliable in good weather and bad,” FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera said. “While no system will be immune to the devastating power of a hurricane, our goal is to minimize damage to critical infrastructure and increase the resiliency of the system. “

Olivera also said the work being done is designed with more frequent and more powerful hurricanes in mind, while also increasing overa system reliability.

In 2008, FPL:

— Completed the second year of an eight-year effort to inspect power line poles. Since May 2006, the company has inspected more than 380,000 poles, or about one third of its total.  This year, FPL plans to inspect 139,000 poles at a total cost of $32 million to $42 million.

— In 2008, FPL inspected more than 16,000 transmission structures, or 25 percent of the total. In 2009, the company plans to invest between $1.8 million and $2 million to inspect at least 17 percent of its transmission structures. The company also plans to spend $14 million to $16 million to complete transmission work identified during the 2008 inspections.

— Continued its three-year cycle for clearing trees from distribution main lines, and completed the second year of ia six-year cycle for neighborhood lines. Overall, FPL spent $57.9 million clearing more than 11,000 miles of lines throughout the state. This year, FPL expects to spend $68.3 million.

— Strengthened power lines serving 49 hospitals, two power plants, and 32 major highway crossings. FPL also strengthened poles, wires and equipment on 21 main lines serving business districts with grocery and drug stores and gas stations. The work cost $54.6 million.
In 2009, FPL plans to strengthen power lines and equipment serving the remaining 18 hospitals in its service area. FPL also plans to strengthen power lines serving 26 hospitals, 35 emergency (911) centers, one emergency operations center, two police stations, one fire station, 40 major highway crossings, and 11 power lines running along main roads. The total 2009 investment is expected at $85 million.

FPL plans to complete work for the 2009 storm season June 1. In May, FPL plans to conduct  its annual company-wide hurricane dry run exercise. FPL is completing arrangements for out-of-state workers needed to power after a storm, while securing potential staging sites and restocking its storm material inventory.

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