Fpsc electric Utility Infrastructure Workshop Florida Municipal Electric Utilities

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FPSC Electric Utility Infrastructure Workshop

  • Florida Municipal Electric Utilities

  • Alan Shaffer

  • Assistant General Manager - Delivery

  • Lakeland Electric

  • January 23, 2006

Florida Public Power Utilities

  • 33 Municipal Electric Utilities

  • 1.3 Million customer meters (15% of Floridians)

  • Distribution

  • Transmission

    • 1,700 miles above ground
    • 70 miles underground
  • 300 substations

  • Every storm impacted at least one municipal electric utility

Florida’s Public Power Utilities

Nature of Storm Damage

  • Transmission System

    • Most transmission systems had little to no damage
      • Kissimmee had 74 poles down after Charlie
      • Keys Energy had sailboat masts into some transmission

Nature of Storm Damage

  • Distribution System

    • Vero Beach lost 100% of customers from Jeanne, Lakeland lost 80%
    • Minor to significant pole and wire failures
      • Most caused from nearby tree/limb failures
      • Lightning burning down wire
      • Some pole failure attributed to successive storms and water-softened earth
      • Vehicles striking poles
    • Underground
      • Some flooding in coastal and low areas
      • Some uprooting from tree failures

Nature of Storm Damage

  • Substations

    • Most experienced no substation damage
      • Keys Energy Transformer LTC flooding and 138kv breaker bushing flashover from salt contamination
      • JEA had 3 substation transformers fail within 1 week attributed to effects of repeated reclosing into distribution faults
      • Vero Beach had significant substation switchgear damage from water intrusion

Mutual Aid

  • FMEA and APPA Mutual Aid Agreements Utilized

    • Executed by all FMEA-member utilities
    • Coordinated through FMEA Executive Director and Mutual Aid Coordinator
    • Worked closely with electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities
      • Supplied FPL with Florida and out-of-state crews
    • Received aid from not only Florida utilities but municipals as far as Texas, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, and New England

Repair Standards

  • All municipals utilizing external crews assigned their own personnel to oversee work and maintain standards within reason (line and tree crews)

  • Performed post-restoration inspections to check reconstruction and make additional corrections

  • All utilities supplied most all their own standard material for their repairs

Vegetation Management

  • Routine Distribution Maintenance

    • Most municipals have a 3-year trim cycle
    • Keys Energy is limited to a 6-month growth trim by local ordinance
    • Tallahassee is on an 18-month cycle
    • Some like Gainesville and Lakeland include service drops
    • Herbicides and growth retardant used
    • Trimmed to four to six foot clearance
    • Danger trees removed where possible
    • Outage data used by some to target locations
    • Joint tree trimming w/ telcos would be beneficial

Vegetation Management

  • Routine Transmission Maintenance

    • Most municipals maintain an annual inspection/trim cycle
    • Jacksonville Beach and Gainesville inspect semiannually
    • Trimmed to 10 to 15 foot clearance

Vegetation Management

  • Post-Storm Inspection

    • Most utilities inspect as part of the system restoration inspection of outage areas
    • Some dependence on severity of storm event
    • Keys Energy and Jacksonville Beach inspect all transmission and main circuits

Pole Inspections

  • All municipals conduct pole inspections

    • Most are 5 to 8-year cycle
    • Include conductors and connections
    • Tallahassee conducts pole-by-pole inspections of circuits with highest number of interruptions


  • Have discussed undergrounding with community for years

  • Citizens appreciate learning the pros & cons

    • Undergrounding does not solve all “hurricane” outage problems
    • Many citizens reluctant to pay for cost of conversion, even with cost-sharing
  • Some utilities considering converting overhead lines to underground

    • Winter Park beginning a selective conversion to underground
    • Vero Beach converting aging lines when justified
    • Jacksonville Beach converting all overhead within 3 blocks from ocean

Design Changes

  • Additional movement to spun concrete or steel poles and higher wind load ratings

    • Transmission and main line distribution
    • Kissimmee - distribution with 3-phase banks or 3-phase risers
  • Over-insulating substation tie-lines to reduce salt intrusion outages near coast

  • Winter Park installing 3-phase gang-operated switches to speed sectionalizing, initiating an undergrounding program

  • Some relocating rear-lot easements to street right-of-ways

  • Key West

    • Wind-load design of 165+ mph
    • Using more concrete poles
    • 8-hour battery backup for traffic lights
    • Using more stainless steel hardware at some locations

Other Changes

  • Several have shortened their pole and line clearance inspection cycles and added more line clearance crews

  • Several have become more aggressive with removing/topping danger trees

    • Customers more willing to agree with clearance activities
  • Majority experienced few repair material shortages but some storm stock inventory levels adjusted based on experiences.

    • Vendor alliances
  • Several reported Emergency Operations Plan changes from lessons learned including:

    • Revised personnel assignments
    • Training substation or meter personnel to assist T&D
    • Use retired personnel
    • Making an earlier determination of mutual aid and contract crew needs and securing logistical needs

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