Florida Power & Light Co. won the Edison Electric Institute "Emergency Recovery Award" for outstanding power restoration efforts after tornadoes and severe weather hit Florida in January 2016. The award recognizes utilities for their outstanding response to help restore service to customers following a storm or natural disaster.
"At FPL, we know how important reliable service is for our customers and we are focused on providing safe and reliable energy year-round," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO for FPL. "Our teams prepare year-round to ensure we are ready to respond when severe weather strikes – training extensively and incorporating lessons learned from previous storms so we can reduce the number and duration of outages. The Emergency Recovery Award is a testament to our team's dedication to helping return customers' lives back to normal safely and as quickly as possible."
On Jan. 17 and 18, severe thunderstorms generated two tornadoes within FPL's service area, as well as wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and severe lightning. FPL crews worked safely and quickly to restore service to its customers in the face of challenging conditions. At the event's peak, this violent weather caused more than 100,000 customer outages. Over the course of the two days, service was restored to customers within an average of four hours.
"This honor truly goes to our restoration field personnel who worked tirelessly under demanding conditions to restore service for our customers," said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL. "January's tornadic events put our storm readiness to the test and the team's response demonstrated FPL's commitment to providing reliable service in good weather and bad. Our team responded quickly, activating our storm response plan, deploying our Mobile Command Center to the hardest hit area and ensuring we had boots on the ground ready to respond and work until every customer's lights were back on."
The Emergency Recovery Award is presented twice annually to EEI member companies to recognize their extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges, following an international nomination process and the awards are presented during EEI's Annual Convention in Chicago.
"Getting the lights back on following a major storm is never easy – FPL's restoration efforts following these tornadoes was truly remarkable," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "FPL's focus on helping minimize the impact for its customers is a demonstration of its commitment to reliability and customer service."