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Florida State Seal State of Florida
Public Service Commission


02/24/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

Commission to Take Up Electric Issues Monday

TALLAHASSEE — Accelerating tree trimming schedules and replacing wooden supports with concrete and steel for high voltage electric lines are among the issues the Florida Public Service Commission will take up at its Internal Affairs meeting February 27.

The five-member Commission is exploring short-term and long-term options to minimize damages like those experienced by ratepayers in the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.  Among the measures the Commission will consider are requirements for investor-owned electric utilities to clear vegetation from transmission and distribution lines in three-year cycles and to replace wooden support structures for high-voltage lines with stronger materials.

The Commission will also consider strengthening electric infrastructure to withstand Category 3 hurricane wind speeds of up to 130 mph and the merits of placing electric lines underground.

The Commission sponsored a workshop January 23, 2006, to investigate ways of minimizing damage for hurricanes and reducing the duration of customer outages.  Workshop participants included local government officials, utility representatives and technical experts.  Information obtained from the workshop provides the basis of the staff recommendations the Commission will discuss Monday.

A copy of the Internal Affairs agenda is available on the Commission’s website.