Florida Power & Light wins PA Consulting's ReliabilityOne award

23 November 2020 Consulting.us 3 min. read
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Florida Power & Light won the top prize at PA Consulting’s 20th annual ReliabilityOne awards, which recognize the North American utilities that provided their customers with the highest levels of reliability.

The overall winner, Florida Power & Light Company, provided the most reliable power grid in the country, with a strong focus on grid modernization improvements and technology advancement.

"We are pleased to name Florida Power & Light as the most reliable U.S. utility for their world-class customer service, ingenious technology advancements, and power restoration efforts,” Gregg Edeson, PA Consulting's ReliabilityOne program director, said. “Florida Power & Light are industry leaders when it comes to serving their customers in extreme weather situations. They have implemented innovative technologies to create 24/7 situational awareness of their systems and customers' status, ensuring that they are quickly able to get the lights back on when storms approach or the power goes out."

During the past two decades that PA Consulting has been analyzing the reliability of electric utilities in the US, outages have worsened slightly – with more storms and wildfires as a result of climate change causing more power interruptions. Utilities have also been building grids that are more resilient to severe weather events, however, which has moderated the impacts of said events on power delivery.

PA has helped numerous utilities clients adapt their systems to be more resilient to worsening weather conditions. Deployed technologies include outage management systems, advanced metering infrastructure, isolation strategies, and distribution automation schemes. Leading companies have also been implementing drones and satellite imagery to give them better situational awareness of their assets in order to better prioritize restoration and repair activities.

Florida Power & Light wins PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne award

But utilities are also using advanced technology to predict issues before they cause a service interruption, including asset failure prediction algorithms and IoT-linked sensors.

“Leading utilities have shifted their thinking from simply responding and reacting to outages impacting customers; now they are focused on predicting and proactively addressing equipment conditions to minimize customer disruption caused by unexpected outages," Edeson added.

PA determines the most reliable utilities by analyzing publicly available information from the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which provides the average outage duration per customer, and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), which measures the average number of interruptions per customer.

Overall, investor-owned utilities (IOUs) saw a slight increase in both average outage frequency and duration in 2019 compared to 2018. Average outage duration rose by four minutes to 122.4 minutes in 2019.

In addition to national winner Florida Power & Light, PA also recognized nine regional award winners for top performance on the SAIDI and SAIFI metrics:

West Region (Metropolitan) – San Diego Gas & Electric
West Region (Suburban and Rural) – Southern California Edison
Midwest Region (Suburban and Rural) – We Energies
Mid-Atlantic Region (Metropolitan) – Public Service Electric and Gas Company
Northeast Region (Metropolitan) – Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Northeast Region (Suburban and Rural) – Orange and Rockland Utilities
Southeast Region (Metropolitan) – Florida Power & Light Company
Southeast Region (Suburban and Rural) – Gulf Power
Plains Region (Suburban and Rural) – Northern States Power/Xcel Energy

ReliabilityOne award winners’ average SAIDI was 49% lower, or approximately 60 minutes better, than the average US IOU’s SAIDI in 2019. Meanwhile, ReliabilityOne winners experienced 35% lower SAIFI than the average US IOU.