Storm Season
5:13 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

FPL Adds New Storm Service Technology

Two linemen demonstrate how they isolate a power outage using the information from smart meters.
Two linemen demonstrate how they isolate a power outage using the information from smart meters.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Florida Power & Light says it is prepared for hurricane season.

Since 2004, FPL has made $1.4 billion worth of technological changes to turn the lights back on quicker after storms. The company wants to make sure the past doesn’t repeat itself.

"Well, it was 10 years ago actually this year that we had Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Francis and Jeanne impact our service territory," says FPL president Eric Silagy. "All of you who were here at that time remember how devastating that was."

Hurricane Charley left parts of the state without power for up to two weeks when it struck. When Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005 it knocked out power for over 3 million customers.  

The biggest change to the tech systems since then is the addition of “smart meters.” The meters provide constant feedback from power lines in the field. Linemen can check on the status of specific transformers from their iPads.

"In the past we would have to drive to the station, perform testing on the equipment. Now we have devices at the station that monitor the status of that equipment and then report back to us," says FPL manager John Lessin. "We can do that during the storm and after the storm and get those constant updates. It really eliminates a lot of delay."

Hurricane Season begins June 1.