JUNO BEACH - As the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season begins today, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is monitoring a potential tropical system in the northwest Caribbean Sea and urges customers to prepare.
While there's much uncertainty regarding the ultimate path and intensity of the system, the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center indicates there is a significant chance of the storm affecting parts of Florida later this week.
'In Florida, it's not a question of if a storm will impact us, but when, where and how strong,' said Eric Silagy, chairman and CEO of FPL. 'We know it only takes one storm to upend our communities, so we are always preparing for the next storm regardless of what the hurricane forecast says. In addition to preparing year-round, we're making significant investments and leveraging technology to make our energy grid smarter, stronger and more storm resilient so we can be there for our customers when they need us the most.'
This hurricane season marks 30 years since the unprecedented destruction of Hurricane Andrew and five years since Hurricane Irma-two historic storms that serve as stark reminders of the importance of storm preparation.
FPL's year-round storm preparations involve significant energy grid investments
FPL continuously improves its grid to serve customers in good weather and bad, earning recognition as a national leader in service reliability with the most advanced energy grid in the nation.
Since the historic 2004-05 hurricane seasons, FPL has made significant investments to protect the energy grid against extreme weather and improve day-to-day reliability. These include: Replacing wooden transmission structures with new ones made of steel or concrete.
Hardening main power lines that serve critical community facilities and services.
Inspecting power poles and replacing those that no longer meet FPL's standards for strength.
Installing more than 200,000 intelligent devices along the grid to detect and prevent power outages and minimize restoration times when outages occur. These devices have helped customers avoid nearly 750,000 outages during Irma and other named storms since 2017.
Managing trees and other vegetation along thousands of miles of power lines each year to reduce a leading cause of outages.
Placing more neighborhood power lines underground through the Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program, which has completed about 600 projects through the end of 2021. Underground neighborhood power lines performed 85% better than overhead lines during Hurricane Irma and are more than 50% more reliable on a day-to-day basis.
FPL urges customers to finalize their own hurricane season preparations
While FPL's year-round preparation will help restoration efforts in the aftermath of a storm, the company is reminding its customers that no energy grid is hurricane proof and that they must prepare their homes and families before a storm puts Florida in its path.
'FPL is prepared,' explained Silagy. 'We urge customers to make their own hurricane preparations for their families and businesses so that if a storm heads toward Florida, they're as ready as we are. The actions we take today - before a hurricane is on our doorstep - will make a meaningful difference in how our communities recover after the next storm.'
Like FPL's storm plan, customers' plans should anticipate that a direct hit by a major hurricane could damage the energy grid, leaving customers without power for an extended period. FPL customers can find tips on how to prepare on FPL.com/Storm. The website features checklists and other information.
Florida Power & Light Company
As America's largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Company serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to more than 5.7 million accounts, or more than 12 million people. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2021 won the ReliabilityOne National Reliability Award for the sixth time in the last seven years. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to J.D. Power's 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM and 2021 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM. The company was also recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2022 list of 'World's Most Admired Companies' and recognized on Fortune's 2021 list of companies that 'Change the World.' NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.