Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) held its annual storm drill, testing more than 3,500 employees to respond to Hurricane Falcon — a virtual Category 3 storm.
During the drill, FPL tested new technology, including a mobile damage assessment application that will help the company speed restoration in the aftermath of a hurricane.
This year, FPL is rolling out a new mobile command center, which allows the company to monitor and manage its network remotely, assess damage and assign restoration crews closer to the hardest hit areas — all within hours of a storm making landfall.
FPL also showcased a new mobile application that its restoration crews will use to assess damage following a storm — previously a manual task recorded on paper, now handled more quickly and efficiently with smart phones and tablets.
Since Hurricane Wilma, FPL has made significant technological changes to the electric grid to make it stronger and smarter, including:
· Strengthening more than 570 main power lines serving critical community facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations and emergency communication systems
· Installing 4.8 million smart meters and 12,000 intelligent devices along the grid using cutting-edge technologies that help detect and restore service faster when outages occur
· Clearing vegetation — a major cause of power outages — from more than 120,000 miles of power lines
· Inspecting all power poles — more than 1.2 million — and upgrading or replacing those that no longer meet our standards for strength
During FPL's week-long storm drill, employees were called on to respond to Hurricane Falcon, a virtual Category 3 hurricane that made landfall in North Miami and exited the state in Naples as a Category 2 storm. The multi-day event focused on pre-positioning crews and coordinating post-landfall restoration efforts, testing the company's processes and employees' storm roles. The annual drill is part of FPL's year-round severe weather training.