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Florida Public Service Commission

1/11/2011 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Approves FPL Storm Hardening Plan

TALLAHASSEE — So that Floridians receive safe utility services during storm season, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) storm hardening plan through 2012.  Storm hardening activities are designed to strengthen critical utility infrastructure before storms, reducing restoration costs and customer outages.

“Florida has been recognized as a national leader in preparing for, and responding to, storm damage,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham.  “When storms do occur, these efforts will expedite response times and minimize electrical outages to customers and help communities recover more quickly.”

The Commission reviewed FPL’s wooden pole inspections, PSC-mandated storm preparedness initiatives (such as vegetation maintenance and critical infrastructure hardening), National Electric Safety Code compliance, attachment standards and procedures, mitigation of flooding and storm surge damage, facility placement and deployment strategies, extreme wind loading standards, and costs.

In 2006, following active 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the PSC directed the state’s five investor-owned utilities to increase efforts to protect electricity delivery systems against severe storm damage and improve power restoration efforts when widespread outages occur.  PSC storm hardening rules require Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities to submit their plans for Commission review every three years to evaluate each company’s rule compliance.

Progress Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Company, Gulf Power Company, and Florida Public Utilities Company plans were approved by the Commission in October 2010.  This is the first Commission review since approval of the utilities’ original storm hardening plans in May 2007.

The PSC facilitates safe and reliable utility services at fair prices for Florida's consumers.  Primary responsibilities include setting fair rates, encouraging competition, and monitoring for safety and reliability.

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Florida Public Service Commission
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Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850