Duke Energy Florida’s smart-thinking grid improves response, power restoration for customers during Hurricane Ian

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  • Smart, self-healing technology in Florida helped to automatically restore more than 160,000 customer outages during powerful storm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As Hurricane Ian made its way across Florida, Duke Energy's grid improvements were already on the job helping to combat power outages from the storm.

Smart, self-healing technology helped to automatically restore more than 160,000 customer outages and saved nearly 3.3 million hours (nearly 200 million minutes) of total lost outage time.

“Hurricane Ian is a strong reminder of the importance of grid hardening and storm preparedness to help keep the lights on for our customers,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Self-healing technology is just one of many grid improvements that Duke Energy is making to avoid outages, restore service faster and increase reliability for our customers.”

Much like the GPS in your car can identify an accident ahead and reroute you around the incident to keep you on your way, self-healing technology is like a GPS for the grid. The technology can quickly identify power outages and alternate energy pathways to restore service faster for customers when an outage occurs.

Additionally, self-healing technology provides a smart tool to assist crews in the field with power restoration after a major storm like Ian, helping reduce outage impacts and freeing up resources to help restore power in other locations.

Three days after Hurricane Ian exited the state, Duke Energy Florida wrapped up restoration of approximately 1 million customers. This progress enabled the company to deploy more than 550 Duke Energy workers from throughout Florida, as well as contractors from across the country, to help restore power for Lee County Electric Cooperative customers.

Crews worked in Cape Coral and Pine Island, one of the hardest-hit areas in the storm’s path and completed power restoration for the majority of customers on Pine Island within approximately one week after arriving to the island.

Prior to Ian in 2022, smart, self-healing technology had helped avoid nearly 250,000 extended customer outages in Florida, saving around 285,000 hours (17.1 million minutes) of total lost outage time.

Duke Energy currently serves around 59% of customers in Florida with self-healing capabilities on its main power distribution lines, with a goal of serving around 80% over the next few years.

Self-healing technology video.

Self-healing grid system animation video.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Audrey Stasko
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AudreyS