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Public Service Commission


04/04/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

Commission To Require Storm Preparation, Recovery Plans by June 1

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities will file comprehensive storm preparation and recovery plans before the onset of the 2006 hurricane season to comply with a decision by the Florida Public Service Commission Tuesday.

The Commission ordered the state’s five investor-owned utilities to provide detailed plans on specific aspects of storm preparation and recovery by June 1, including estimated implementation costs.

“We are looking for timely, thoughtful, objective assessments of where our electric utilities are now and where they need to be,” Commission Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar said.  “The need to move forward and develop a more resilient electric transmission and distribution network is a statewide priority.”

Based on Tuesday’s vote, each utility will have to describe how it will implement a requirement to clear distribution line rights-of-way every three years, for example, and inspect transmission line structures on six-year cycles.  Affected utilities will also begin tracking the reliability of overhead lines compared with the performance of underground lines.

The five-member Commission is investigating short-term and long-term solutions to minimize damages to Florida’s electric infrastructure during future hurricane seasons. 

The Commission is also moving forward with proceedings to require strengthening of overhead electric lines and an exploration of issues surrounding the underground placement of electric lines.