Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) surpassed a milestone in its efforts to prepare for severe storms and ensure reliable service year-round throughout its 35-county service territory. In Ft. Myers, Florida, the utility inspected the one-millionth distribution pole as part of its electric delivery reliability program.
Since 2006, FPL has inspected more than 130,000 poles each year — about 500 every business day — to make sure they meet National Electrical Safety Code standards for strength. When laid end to end, that's the equivalence of a line stretching from Miami to Washington, D.C. As a result of the inspections performed over eight years, FPL has replaced more than 50,000 poles and made about 30,000 sturdier by adding steel reinforcements or guy wires.
Pole inspections consist of visual and other stringent testing measures — above and below ground level — to ensure poles meet required strength and loading standards. This includes evaluations of pole conditions and weathering, and calculations to ensure that the most-suitable poles are being used to support electric equipment.