After last week’s rude electric outage, we promised to keep you all posted on the progress of the final phase of the electrical portion of the project.
As of 6 PM yesterday, August 18th, ALL overhead lines in Town have been de-energized. This means that none of the above-ground FPL lines are transporting electric current. So, there will be no more events like last week (downed electrical power lines, transformer explosions).
However, the project is not yet put to bed. The feeder line making landfall on the west end of the Inlet Path, near the Anchorage, (known to FLP as the south feeder), has not yet been taken off of the pole and run underground to the nearby transformer. This line carries the major portion of the Town electrical service and therefore carries a heavy electrical load. Similarly, the northern feeder lines service the north part of Singer Island, and they also carry a heavy electrical load. To complicate matters, this is the FPL peak load season for electric power usage. (One just has to look at their electric bill to understand this.) So, shifting the load from the south to the north electrical feeder lines will require some delicate load distribution planning by FPL. Once this planning is done, the south electric feed will be placed underground, with no Town electric outage during the process, if all goes according to plan. It will take a week or two to get this all completed.
Once the above work is accomplished, all that remains is to build into our system automated switching of feeders. These means have load switches between feeders automatically. If one feeder line goes down, the power feed will automatically be redistributed. Again, this requires some FPL planning. (It seems that automatic switching was not built into our system during the planning phase.) To accomplish this, FPL must have two automated transformers in Town (transformers are the very large boxes we see placed along Lake, Atlantic, and Ocean). Right now, the Town has only one automated transformer. So, FPL needs to replace one of the non-automated transformers. First, the selection needs to be made and then the replacement needs to be done. In the meantime, if we are hit by a big storm and lose a feeder, the switching will need to be done manually. This is what was done during the outage last week. It generally takes 45 minutes to two hours to accomplish, depending on the FPL crews availability. So, from this point forward there should not be any long, multi-day outages of our electricity.
Nevertheless, if lightning hit the FPL main distribution center, the Inlet Substation, which is located between West Avenues E and F and West 19th and 20th Sts. in Riviera Beach, all bets are off. The entire Island and part of the Mainland will suffer an outage. Undergrounding of the transport and distribution lines cannot protect us against such an event. All we can do is hope that this won’t happen; and if it does, FPL gets the substation up and running quickly.
Call us if you have any questions at 561-844-3457.