State utilities present 2016 hurricane season readiness plans

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It’s been more than a decade since a series of major hurricanes battered Florida’s electrical grid. Despite all that time passed, many state utility customers are still paying a monthly surcharge to cover the losses.

Such surcharges might be unavoidable in the wake of hurricanes that leave multi-billion dollar losses in their wake.

However, utilities companies have been called upon by the state’s Public Service Commission to show how future losses might be avoided by creating storm readiness plans.

Utility executives told state regulators Wednesday at a commission hearting they’re confident their companies’ equipment and personnel are capable of handling virtually anything the 2016 hurricane season throws Florida’s way.

"The network of support and cooperation between utilities nationally is much stronger today than it was back then, in those ’04 and ’05 years," said Duke Energy Director of Power Quality and Reliability Jason Cutliffe. "And so, we all learned from sending our folks out of state."

The plans include fortifying power poles and eliminating trees that pose a threat to power lines and transformers. The plans also refer to implementing best practices developed over the past ten years.

Bay News 9 – local-news

March 30, 2016 |

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