As part of Florida's fifth annual Lineworker Appreciation Day to be celebrated on Aug. 26, Florida Power & Light Co. is recognizing the contributions of its team of skilled, professional men and women who help deliver reliable service to its more than 4.8 million customers.
"Delivering safe, affordable and reliable service to more than 10 million Floridians takes a special kind of energy – the energy driving a team of highly skilled professionals committed to working safely to keep the lights on for customers in good weather and bad," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO for FPL. "We were honored to receive the 2015 ReliabilityOne™ National Reliability Excellence Award and are thrilled to be considered a provisional winner for this year's regional award. These acknowledgements are a direct reflection of our team's commitment to excellence and FPL's continued investments to build a stronger, smarter more storm-resilient energy grid to deliver outstanding value for our customers."
FPL has been recognized as delivering the best system reliability in Florida and among the best in the nation – nearly 50 percent better than the national average – and was awarded with the ReliabilityOne National Reliability Excellence Award in 2015, for its sustained leadership, innovation and achievement in the area of electric reliability. FPL has also been selected as a provisional winner of the 2016 ReliabilityOne™ Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance in the Southeast of the U.S. ReliabilityOne™ awards are bestowed by PA Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm that analyzes electric utility performance across the United States, and recognizes the most reliable utilities in the nation.
Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $2 billion to make its system stronger, smarter and more resilient to severe weather. System upgrades include:
- Strengthening more than 600 main power lines, including those that serve more than 700 critical community facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency communication systems;
- Placing facilities underground totaling more than 450 main power lines;
- Installing 4.8 million smart meters and 36,000 intelligent devices along the energy grid using advanced technology that helps detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur;
- Clearing vegetation – a major cause of power outages – from more than 135,000 miles of power lines; and
- Inspecting more than 1.4 million power poles and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet its standards for strength.
FPL also plans to invest approximately $1.75 billion over the next three years to improve the overall resiliency of the electric system. Key elements of the plan include completing the hardening of main distribution power lines serving critical community facilities, initiating upgrades of smaller neighborhood power lines, and continuing to replace wooden transmission towers.
"Our team of lineworkers represent the best in the industry, and I couldn't be more proud of the work they do each and every day to deliver safe, reliable energy for our customers," said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL. "They play a critical role to help keep the lights on for our customers year-round, often performing work that is mentally and physically demanding, under challenging conditions and sacrificing personal and family time, yet they perform their duties safely with an unwavering commitment to excellence."
FPL's lineworkers support the company's 35-county service area in Florida, which consists of more than 27,000 square miles and approximately half the state's population. They are responsible for maintaining FPL's approximately 75,000 miles of power lines around the clock, 365 days a year, helping improve service reliability by approximately 25 percent in the past five years.
"The ReliabilityOne™ Awards help recognize utilities that have demonstrated the highest level of reliability, innovation and value for their customers," said Derek HasBrouck, PA Consulting Group's ReliabilityOne™ Program Director. "Florida Power & Light Company has demonstrated exceptional leadership in these areas, driven by a dedicated team of people who each play a critical role in helping deliver safe, reliable service – with total commitment to their customers."
The ReliabilityOne award is given annually to utilities that have excelled in delivering reliable electric service to their customers. All utilities operating electric delivery networks in North America are eligible for consideration for the ReliabilityOne™ award. Selection of provisional recipients is based primarily on system reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of customer outages. After provisional recipients are selected, each company undergoes an on-site certification process, which provides an independent review and confirmation of the policies, processes and systems used to collect, analyze and report a company's reliability results.