Florida Power & Light Co. said as of Friday morning, it has restored power to more than 85,000 customers affected by Hurricane Hermine.
About 11,000 customers remain without electricity.
"We understand that power outages are an inconvenience for our customers, which is why FPL prepares year-round for hurricanes and severe storms," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "During the past decade, we have invested billions of dollars to harden our electrical system, upgraded our power lines and poles to be stronger and more resilient, and built one of the most advanced smart grids in the nation. Based upon our initial assessment from this storm, those investments are making a difference, resulting in fewer outages and faster restoration times. At this point in the restoration process, far fewer customers than we originally forecast have experienced outages from Hermine. That speaks directly to the investments we've made to make our electric grid stronger and smarter. We appreciate our customers' patience and we'll continue working around the clock until every customer's power is back on."
FPL crews worked through the night, helped by in- and out-of-state contractors. They restored power in-between bands of severe weather when it was safe to do so and they'll continue to work around the clock to restore customers' power safely and quickly. While the remaining outer bands of winds and rain continue to affect the western and northern parts of FPL's service area, the company expects to restore power to the majority of customers within 24 hours after the storm has cleared, with all customers' service restored by end of day Saturday, Sept. 3.
FPL's investments over the past decade in building an advanced smart grid and strengthening the system have benefited customers in Hermine's path in several specific ways
Automated switches we installed on poles and wires have held up well in the severe weather and were able to keep more than 25,000 people from losing power so far.
Smart meters are showing us who's out of power, versus having to wait for customers to call.
FPL has installed 4.8 million smart meters, an integral part of the smart grid.
Poles we upgraded or replaced have performed well and prevented more serious outages. Since 2006, FPL has completed more than 1.4 million pole inspections, and upgraded or replaced those that no longer meet our standards for strength.