So that Floridians receive safe utility services during storm season, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved storm hardening plans through 2012 for four of Florida’s five investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs). Storm hardening activities are designed to strengthen critical utility infrastructure before storms, reducing restoration costs and customer outages.
“Florida has been recognized as a national leader in preparing for, and responding to, storm damage,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “These efforts assist families, businesses, and communities to quickly recover from storms and return to normal.”
The Commission reviewed the utilities’ following activities: wooden pole inspections, PSC-mandated storm preparedness initiatives (such as vegetation maintenance and critical infrastructure hardening), National Electric Safety Code compliance, attachment standards and procedures, mitigation of flooding and storm surge damage, facility placement and deployment strategies, extreme wind loading standards, and costs.
In 2006, following active 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the PSC directed Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Progress Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, Gulf Power Company, and Florida Public Utilities Company to increase efforts to protect electricity delivery systems against severe storm damage and improve power restoration efforts when widespread outages occur. FPL’s storm hardening plans will be considered at a future Commission Conference.
PSC storm hardening rules require Florida’s IOUs to submit their plans for Commission review every three years to evaluate each company’s rule compliance. This is the first Commission review since approval of the utilities’ original storm hardening plans in May 2007.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.