FPL’s new $6M Jupiter service center built to get power back faster


Highlights

A dozen centers like Jupiter’s are bring built by FPL

FPL technicians will sleep at Jupiter center during major storms

Getting electrical power restored faster after hurricanes such as Irma and Matthew is the goal of the new Florida Power & Light service center that opened Wednesday in Jupiter.

“We want our technicians out of the gate quicker. They will be focused on getting the power up and running,” said Bryan Olnick, FPL Vice President of Distribution Operations.

Built to withstand a Category 5 storm, the 25,000-square-foot, two-story building is part of FPL’s overall plan to improve service center buildings and response times for repairs.

The $6 million Jupiter service center, on the southwest corner of Delaware Boulevard and Indiantown Road, is the first of its kind to open in Palm Beach County. Eleven more similar service centers are being built in the FPL 35-county service area. One is near Old Boynton Beach Road west of Interstate 95 in Boynton Beach.

More than 100 FPL “storm riders” can stay at the new service center in Jupiter. They will sleep on cots that are now in storage in the building. Office workers will occupy the building the rest of the time.

Also on display Wednesday was one of the four FPL portable emergency operation center vehicles technicians use to locate and monitor power outages. Packed with electronics and view screens, the converted mobile home monitors FPL electric and communication systems during storms. It also receives data from drones launched into inaccessible areas.

Monitors on a wall show a road map of the FPL service area. Outlines of tiny red vehicles stop and start on the streets on the screen. They look like an Uber vehicle moving on a cell phone.

“Those are FPL repair vehicles. We can tell where they are,” said Sake Irfan, who is with FPL’s distribution engineering lead.

The former FPL service center at the Indiantown Road location was demolished. The new two-story FPL building is four times as large.

Juno Beach-based FPL has invested more than $3 billion since 2006 to build what it calls a stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient energy grid.

About 680,000 Palm Beach County customers lost power during Hurrice Irma. About 100,000 county customers lost power during Hurricane Matthew, which skirted Palm Beach County’s coast, then traveled up the state’s east coast.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Trump in Palm Beach: President expected to leave Palm Beach mid-afternoon
Trump in Palm Beach: President expected to leave Palm Beach mid-afternoon

Good morning. It’s 75 degrees at Mar-a-Lago under partly cloudy skies. Thunderstorms are expected today with a high of 81 degrees. Here’s a look at Mar-a-Lago. The president has no official events on his schedule. He is expected to leave Palm Beach and return to Washington, DC at about 2:30 p.m. The Southern Boulevard Bridge and roads near...
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know

Sunday is Earth Day 2018, and more than one billion people across the globe are expected to celebrate with environmentally friendly events. But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know: >> Read more trending news  The first Earth Day celebration took place 48 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought...
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue getting younger, chief says
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue getting younger, chief says

Matt Gaffney, district chief of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, was a guest speaker at Tuesday’s Lake Worth Commission meeting, giving his annual update. Last year, Gaffney said Fire Rescue received 8,952 emergency calls. Of those, 7,405 were medical and 155 were fires. For the past five years, Fire Rescue has seen an increase of about 600 calls...
Opinion: Playboy comes to D.C.

Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need. The dinner, as you’ve probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or better yet, be seen with, Hollywood stars. Like...
UPDATE: Owner accused of elderly abuse at assisted living home near West Palm
UPDATE: Owner accused of elderly abuse at assisted living home near West Palm

The owner of an assisted living facility  in a suburban West Palm Beach neighborhood was arrested and accused of mistreating the elderly residents, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  A judge ordered Bhoodram Parsaram, 52, be held at the county jail on a $2,000 bond Saturday morning on charges of abuse of an elderly...
More Stories