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
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