FPL’s Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program, launched in 2018, is one of the ways we’re continuously working to enhance the reliability of service to our customers in good weather and bad. The program replaces overhead neighborhood power lines with underground lines to improve resiliency during hurricanes and severe weather and also enhance reliability during day-to-day conditions.
After the historic hurricane seasons of 2004-05, when seven hurricanes affected our customers, FPL began making significant investments to strengthen our electric system and make the grid more resilient to severe weather. When Hurricane Irma struck in 2017, our hardening efforts helped significantly reduce damage to the grid and speed restoration for our customers. Still, we saw that the number one cause of outages during Irma was debris blowing into and trees falling onto our power lines.
The Storm Secure Underground Pilot Program analyzes data from past hurricanes, vegetation-related service interruptions and other reliability metrics to identify areas that would most benefit from having power lines placed underground.
We’ve completed about 600 of these neighborhood projects through the end of 2021 – and we plan to continue bringing the benefits of undergrounding to more of our customers in the years ahead.
The company has used several criteria to determine the location of these projects, including power lines' performance during Hurricanes Matthew and/or Irma, outages on power lines due to vegetation issues and performance of power lines during day-to-day operations.