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NEWS RELEASE


02/27/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

Electric System Strengthening Initiatives Approved


TALLAHASSEE — The impending 2006 hurricane season will find Florida better prepared to deal with issues affecting electric transmission and distribution based on actions outlined by the Florida Public Service Commission Monday.

  At the onset of the 2006 hurricane season, all electric service providers, including municipals and co-operatives, will brief the Commission on the status of their hurricane preparations. 

The five-member Commission reviewed a series of short-term and long-term options to strengthen the state’s electric system, minimize damage and reduce future recovery costs.

Investor-owned utilities will file ongoing implementation plans addressing accelerated tree trimming cycles, structural integrity of lines and poles and coordination with local governments.   The utilities will also spell out how they plan to deal with the storm recovery process.

Commission Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar said each utility will need to include cost estimates with their implementation plans.  “The question of who pays is something we will have to address not just now, but down the road.”

In addition, the Commission directed its staff to explore construction standards that will lead to a more durable electric system and to analyze the cost and reliability effects of placing electric lines underground.

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