OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has detailed its plans to enhance the energy grid in Okaloosa County, aiming to boost storm readiness and provide more reliable service, FPL said.
Before the year is out, FPL said it plans to make several upgrades in Okaloosa County as part of an ongoing effort to enhance day-to-day reliability and improve resiliency in the face of severe weather.
The investments include moving more power lines underground, strengthening overhead lines, and installing more intelligent devices along the energy grid to help detect potential problems and restore power faster when outages occur.
The investments have the added benefit of improving day-to-day reliability for customers as well, said FPL.
“No energy grid is outage-proof, however, we’ve made and are continuing to make significant investments to strengthen the grid to make it more resilient to severe weather,” said J.T. Young, vice president of FPL Northwest Florida.
“These upgrades also benefit our customers each day by delivering more reliable service to power their homes and businesses.”
FPL plans to make the following improvements in and near Okaloosa County in 2023:
- Strengthening six main power lines, including those that serve critical services and are necessary for communities to recover faster after major storms.
- Maintaining trees and vegetation – a common cause of power outages, particularly during hurricanes and severe weather – along 937 miles of power lines.
- Installing smart grid technology, including 31 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines, to help detect problems and restore service faster when outages occur.
- Inspecting four main power lines and equipment using infrared technology to detect issues before they cause a power interruption.
According to FPL, strengthening power poles, managing trees and vegetation near power lines, installing smart grid technology to fix problems before they affect customers, and using robots and drones to regularly inspect equipment have all helped FPL improve its service reliability by 41% since 2006.
The upgrades have helped reduce the number and duration of outages and the number of momentary interruptions or power flickers, FPL said.
FPL made the following improvements in Okaloosa County from 2019 – 2022:
- Strengthened 28 main power lines, including those that serve critical services.
- Inspected 23,396 power poles for strength.
- Installed smart grid technology, including 1,663 automated switches on main and neighborhood power lines.
- Inspected 391 main power lines and equipment using infrared technology.