Storms have cost Florida utility companies hundreds of millions of dollars in the recent years, yet significant progress has been made in the storm recovery practices. When Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005, it took more than two weeks to restore power to 95% of customers. However, when Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, affecting more than 4 million customers, power was restored to residents in half the time.
A recently approved Senate bill, requires the state’s investor-owned utilities, such as Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy, to file storm protection plans. Each plan has to explain their approach to achieving the objectives of reducing restoration costs and outage times associated with extreme weather events as well as enhancing reliability.
Underground power lines are one way of improving system resilience, however, they are costly, and because of Florida’s abundance of low-lying areas and flood-zones, underground placement of power lines in many areas may not be feasible.
For more information on Senate Bill 796, click here.