Going Underground: Florida Utilities Are Planning for Hurricane Season

Apr 15, 2020

As the storm season approaches, Florida Utilities are outlining long term plans for protecting customers from massive power outages. Four major utilities have filed plans that call for billions of dollars of projects over the next decade to strengthen electric systems against hurricanes. A key component to each plan is a significant amount of underground projects. 

According to a story by CBS Miami , Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power filed the plans Friday at the state Public Service Commission. The filings were an initial step as regulators review the plans and, ultimately, decide how costs will be passed along to utility customers.

The story reports some of the planned spending. For example, FPL’s newly filed plan, calls for spending an estimated $510 million a year on underground power-line projects. Meanwhile, Tampa Electric wants to spend more than $100 million in most years, with a total of $976.8 million over the decade, according to its filing. Duke said it expects to spend about $2.2 billion over 10 years on underground and overhead “lateral” power lines, which generally carry electricity into neighborhoods.