Florida Public Power's Infrastructure Investments
Boosting Electric Reliability and Enhancing Lives
Florida public power utilities are making crucial investments in infrastructure to keep power flowing. That is our top priority. It’s a goal that lets you live your life without even thinking about how it’s powered.
Municipal electric utilities are taking proactive steps and spending millions every year to bolster reliability, boost resiliency and build a next-generation smart grid. These investments strengthen the electric system and help it better manage fast-growing demands while reducing power outages.
Investments in Reliability
What does reliable electricity mean? If you rarely think about that question, you understand reliability: You’re confident the lights will come on when you flip a switch.
For utilities, it means building a strong system that can generate enough power to meet spikes in demand. It means being diligent about maintaining and improving the complex network of components that connect the grid and using advanced technology to prevent, detect and quicky restore brief power disruptions.
Investing in advanced technology is critical to improving reliability and modernizing the electric grid. For example, many Florida public power utilities have installed smart devices on power lines to detect temporary faults that can result in long outages.
These smart grid devices, called TripSavers, are a type of self-healing technology because they’re designed to automatically clear or isolate a problem to maintain power to customers or reduce the number of customers impacted from an outage. This smart grid technology can quickly resolve many common faults caused by animals, lightning and vegetation without sending lineworkers to the scene.
Florida public power communities are also using unmanned aircraft systems – or drone technology – to inspect power lines and other critical infrastructure. Drones can provide high-resolution photos, videos, thermal images and even 3D models of hard-to-reach and hazardous areas. This option helps keep lineworkers out of dangerous situations and saves the utility time and money.
Along with the investments in smart grid technology, Florida public power utilities have made significant investments in infrastructure projects, such as undergrounding power lines, installing new substations and circuits, and replacing and upgrading utility poles, transformers and breakers. These improvements help strengthen electric systems and provide greater reliability for their customers.
In addition, routine vegetation management, such as trimming trees near power lines, continues to be a key element of plans to improve reliability by preventing outages.
Investments in Resiliency
Threats to utility systems can come from a physical event or cyberattack. Through continued investments in reliability and resiliency, Florida public power utilities are working hard to ensure their systems and employees are prepared to restore power as quickly and safely as possible regardless of the type of outage event.
Here in Florida, hurricanes and severe weather pose a risk for widespread power outages. That’s why many Florida public power utilities are upgrading their infrastructure, including poles and substations, to ensure they can withstand the strongest of hurricanes.
They are also finding faster ways to get power restored by assessing storm damage with drones and other applications that employ geographic information system (GIS) mapping. Florida public power utilities are using state-of-the-art software with GIS mapping technology to provide instant, specific details on power outages right down to the circuit, customer, day/month/year, duration and impact on customers. That data enables them to pinpoint restoration efforts and even identify future opportunities to increase reliability.
Additional investments in technology and training are bolstering Florida public power utilities’ cyber and physical security protections in an age when critical infrastructure nationwide faces threats from across the globe.
Investments in Smarter Systems
Florida public power utilities are investing in grid-modernization technologies to keep up with customers’ ever-changing and growing energy needs. They are deploying Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to collect more data to improve operations, enhance efficiency and boost communication with customers about energy consumption.
AMI is a network of smart meters, sensors and other data management technology that facilitates two-way communication between utilities and customers. Utilities can use advanced meters, or smart meters, to perform many tasks remotely that once needed to be done by hand, such as connecting and disconnecting service, detecting tampering in the system, or identifying and isolating outages.
Florida public power utilities are connecting smart meters to homes and businesses to provide data about a customer’s power usage. The utilities can then share that information with customers so they can make informed choices on how to manage their energy consumption and electricity bills.
The digital age has also placed advanced technology in the hands of Florida public power utility workers. Many field workers now use handheld electronic devices or work out of mobile offices in fleet vehicles to perform their responsibilities. The upgrades in technology and capability are helping employees and utilities develop efficiencies that ultimately benefit all customers.
These are a few of the investments Florida’s public power utilities are making to ensure a reliable, resilient, safe and secure system to power life now and for the future.