Earlier this month, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) tested the ability of its 3,000 employees to respond to two major weather events and showcased new equipment during the company’s annual storm drill, which coincided with a statewide hurricane preparedness exercise.
During the drill, the company showcased new technology and equipment that was deployed over the past year, most notable after Hurricane Hermine in September 2016 and Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. This included unmanned aircraft systems, or drones; mobile applications with the latest damage information; smart meters and automated switches; and FPL’s mobile command center and community response vehicles.
FPL set up mini staging sites, which offer crews a place to rest, refuel, and stock up while working on restoration. The company also showcased robots that can provide assessments.
According to a release from FPL, the utility has invested $3 billion since 2006 in strengthening its electric system, including hardening more than 700 major power lines, clearing vegetation around power lines, inspecting power poles every eight years, and installing smart meters and intelligent devices to help predict, reduce, and prevent outages.