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FPL using advanced technology to restore power faster

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 15:00:33-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With the start of another hurricane season, Florida Power & Light is using advanced technologies to help bring the power back on faster after a storm strikes.

FPL said substations like the Dreher Park location are fitted with the latest technology that may shorten or even prevent power outages from happening.

"We want to restore power safely and as quickly as possible," FPL spokesman Bill Orlove said.

By using the latest technologies, including rovers and drones, to help monitor and troubleshoot the grid if a problem occurs.

"It's a completely autonomous rover that allows us to do inspections from anywhere," Kyle Bush, lead project manager for FPL's Power Delivery Division, said.

"It gives us eyes and ears into this substation so we can see what is going on, and it actually has devices that pick up information that the human eye can't see," Orlove added.

With just a laptop and a remote connection, Bush said, the rover can be used anywhere.

"One of the great things that the rover has that a human can't is it's already here," Bush said. "During a storm, there can be a tree down. We may not have access to the facility. So we can actually control this and drive it around look for any obstacles, any situations that could be affecting the customers."

The company said it is building a stronger, storm-resilient and smarter grid using smart-grid technology.

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"We've installed tens of thousands of devices on the grid that help us prevent outages from occurring or can shorten the duration of an outage," Orlove said.

Another enables linemen and other personnel to see a live view of the grid right in the palm of their hands.

"They can see whether customers have their lights on and they can check or ping and communicate with the meters," Orlove said. "So after a storm, they can make sure that everyone's lights are back on."

It's a proven system that Orlove said has already been tested.

"During Hurricane Irma, these devices actually prevented 546,000 outages from occurring, and that's without even having our trucks or our men and women out in the field," Orlove said.

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