Building a Smarter Energy Future
Since 2004, Duke Energy has spent more than $2.4 billion maintaining and strengthening its Florida power delivery system. The company is working hard to strengthen the grid and build a smarter energy future. Together, these improvements are reducing outages, increasing storm resiliency and improving service for Florida customers.
Ongoing maintenance includes consistent monitoring and trimming of vegetation along miles of power lines. In addition, more than 103,000 wood distribution poles were inspected, treated or replaced last year alone.
The company is also actively investing in digital technology to modernize its energy delivery system. By installing automated equipment, wireless sensing devices and other smart grid technologies, Duke Energy is improving power quality and reliability, which also reduces the number and length of power outages.
“An important part of being safe is being prepared. We prepare for storms every day of the year, and we want our customers to get ready now so they can react quickly during a storm.”
- Harry Sideris, President, Duke Energy Florida
Approximately 23 percent of Duke Energy’s customers in Florida are already benefiting from smart grid technology. From May 2015 to August 2016, the new sensing devices prevented more than 160,000 power failures and over 11 million minutes of outages.
“Our reliability is among the best in the business,” says Harry Sideris, Duke Energy state president — Florida. “We keep our plants and electric grid in top condition and spend millions of dollars annually on reliability improvements.”
The technology, and Duke Energy’s preparation and training, paid off during Hurricane Matthew. More than 316,000 customers who lost power had it restored in less than 72 hours.
Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant to Provide $600 Million Economic Impact
Duke Energy’s new Citrus County Combined Cycle Natural Gas Plant project is progressing as expected — safely, on time and on budget. The 1,640-megawatt plant is Duke Energy’s largest combined-cycle plant under construction and among the largest in the industry. Construction of the $1.5 billion plant is about 35 percent complete.
The plant will provide clean energy to 1.8 million Florida customers and replace two 1960s-era coal-fired units. Duke Energy is committed to the highest levels of performance in environmental compliance, practices and stewardship. Since 2005, Duke Energy has reduced its air emissions by nearly 80 percent in Florida, and the new plant will help the company reduce carbon emissions by 23 percent.
The 515-mile interstate, Sabal Trail Transmission, which is currently under construction, will supply natural gas to the Citrus County plant. The $3 billion interstate, underground pipeline will start in Alabama, extend through Georgia and end in central Florida. Sabal Trail will license, construct and operate the natural gas pipeline, which will serve multiple utilities.
Construction and related activities are already helping the local tax base and economy. The total economic benefit is expected to be more than $600 million. Currently, there are 1,500 workers employed at the site, and once the plant is complete, 50 to 75 workers will be needed to operate and maintain the plant.
Hurricane Season – Being Prepared
In the last two years, Duke Energy has hosted more than 36 storm preparation sessions and downed power line demonstrations for nearly 2,500 emergency first responders and customers across its Florida service territory.
You can find a Hurricane Kit Checklist, important safety tips and more information on what to do before, during and after a storm by visiting duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety.
For more tips on general emergency preparedness, visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management at floridadisaster.org.