Florida’s electric utilities and emergency management updated the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today on their storm preparation efforts, saying they are ready for the 2017 Hurricane Season that begins June 1.
The CEOs of Florida’s five investor-owned utilities, along with executives from the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, the Florida Municipal Electric Association, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management also discussed how customer needs are met during and after storm-related events, including restoration and communication efforts.
“Ongoing hurricane preparedness initiatives have improved Florida utilities’ overall storm hardening efforts and response and restoration times, as we saw during last year’s storm season,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “Today’s Annual Hurricane Preparedness Briefing confirms that our utilities use the latest technology and lessons learned to better prepare for any upcoming weather event that threatens Florida."
Beginning in 2006, the PSC required the state’s investor-owned utilities to implement an aggressive vegetation management cycle for all major distribution circuits, incorporate a transmission inspection program, and an eight-year inspection cycle for all wooden poles. Some utilities have replaced wooden poles with concrete poles that can withstand 140-mile-per-hour winds.
Today’s presentations demonstrated how customer communications and thoughtful preparation can improve outage restoration times. The following executives shared their hurricane preparedness plans:
• Eric Silagy, CEO, Florida Power & Light Company
• Harry Sideris, State President, Duke Energy Florida, LLC
• Gordon Gillette, CEO, Tampa Electric Company
• Stan Connally, CEO, Gulf Power Company
• Jeff Householder, President, Florida Public Utilities Company
• Bill Willingham, General Manager, Florida Electric Cooperatives Association
• Amy Zubaly, Interim Executive Director, Florida Municipal Electric Association
Leo Lachat, Deputy Director of Emergency Management, also updated the PSC on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s coordination with Florida utilities in storm preparation and restoration. During state emergencies, the PSC provides 24/7 staffing for Emergency Support Function-12 at the Emergency Operations Center, coordinating electric and natural gas responses and providing information and assistance to federal and state agencies.
Today’s storm preparedness presentations can be found on the Commission’s website.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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