JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) said today that it is committed to full cooperation with an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) into the circumstances regarding a Feb. 26, 2008, electric outage in parts of Florida. An investigation by FERC was announced today.
“We are committed to full cooperation with FERC and will commit whatever resources are necessary to ensure that we expeditiously respond to its requirements. We take our responsibilities seriously and we know that FERC does as well,” said FPL President Armando Olivera, noting that the company is cooperating with an investigation into the event by the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
On Feb. 29, FPL announced that preliminary results of its investigation indicated that human error was the primary factor immediately responsible for the event.
According to the preliminary results of the investigation, a field engineer was diagnosing a switch that had malfunctioned at FPL’s Flagami substation in west Miami. Without authorization, the engineer disabled two levels of relay protection. This was done contrary to FPL's standard procedures and established practices. Standard procedures do not permit the simultaneous removal of both levels of protection.
During the diagnostic process, a fault occurred and, because both levels of relay protection had been removed, caused an outage ultimately affecting 26 transmission lines and 38 substations. One of the substations affected serves three of the generation units at Turkey Point, including a natural gas unit as well as both nuclear units, which, as designed, automatically and safely shut down due to an under-voltage condition. Also affected were two other generation plants in FPL’s system. Total impact to the system was a loss of 3,400 megawatts of generating capacity.
The outage resulted in loss of power to approximately 584,000 of FPL’s 4.5 million customers as well as customers of other electricity providers in Florida. The average outage time was about one hour for those FPL customers affected.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of over $15 billion and a growing presence in 27 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com.