No longer optional, storm hardening is now absolutely necessary to deal with the increasingly volatile weather patterns we have been experiencing across the U.S. and around the world. Massive storms such as Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Maria and Sandy are increasingly becoming the norm thanks to global warming. When it comes to emergency preparedness in the utility industry, it’s clearly time to batten down the hatches.
How Florida Power & Light Handles Storm Hardening
In response to this new reality, FP&L has been making incredible strides to shore things up. You can read about these efforts here.
FP&L has two primary goals when it comes to storm hardening – increase the speed of restoration times, and increase the system’s overall resistance to outages.
Some of the tactics FP&L is utilizing to harden the system include:
- Replacing wooden poles with concrete or composite poles
- Moving more power lines underground
- Installing flood monitoring equipment in substations, which trigger automatic de-energization processes whenever waters rise to predetermined levels
- Evaluating the deployment of microgrids and similar distributed resources
As the article points out, many of these same ideas should be deployed in Puerto Rico, since much of the electricity infrastructure needs to be completely rebuilt in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Since massive rebuilding needs to take place, why not build it the right way?
In the final analysis, let’s face it, climate change is not going to reverse course anytime soon, which means that weather patterns will continue to increase in frequency and severity. Now more than ever, storm hardening is critical for utilities to boost grid resiliency and improve restoration times.