Florida Power & Light Underground Lateral Hardening

Type: Distribution, Underground Design-Build
Scope: 3-year distribution overhead and underground maintenance.
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Client: Florida Power & Light

Severe weather events pose a significant risk to community electrical infrastructure. Local authorities in Florida have prioritized grid development strategies to offset this risk via the increased burial of electrical transmission lines. To this end, Florida Power and Light (FPL), an industry-leading energy utility serving over 10 million customers in Florida, has allocated resources exceeding $4 billion for new and upgraded underground electrical infrastructure throughout its service area, 47% of which is currently underground.

FPL contracted Irby in April 2019 to provide ongoing technical support services related to customer outreach, engineering design, construction, and maintenance of several of these underground assets. For its pilot community project, 100% homeowner approval was required to enable the diversion of above ground FPL lines using Irby’s conduit, HDPE, and pad-mounted underground equipment solutions. To avoid outages, the work was performed while energized, with one circuit route totaling ~1.6 miles of 13.8kV distribution line delivered within a 45-day work schedule and with zero lost-time incidents. Irby’s directional boring solution was ideally situated for the scope allowing for minimal excavation and environmental impact to residential properties.

With strong community support, Irby and FPL have already carried out 8 “Storm Secure” projects together in and around Sarasota and Manatee counties with planning underway for at least 85 additional deployments.

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Start Date: January 2019
Completion Date: December 2021

 

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