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1/10/2010 - Record Demand for Electricity

We are getting momentary losses of power this Sunday morning and here is why.

Florida Power & Light Company said yesterday that it is preparing for record demand for electricity in its service territory as a result of record-low forecasted temperatures. 

In order to meet anticipated demand, FPL is operating all available power plants at maximum output. Where it has the ability to do so, the company is switching power plants to oil-based fuels to reduce consumption of natural gas because Florida's two natural gas pipelines are operating at maximum capacity.

During periods of unusually cold weather, high electrical demand from heating systems can overload power lines and transformers, causing a localized outage. The outage is the result of a safety mechanism – similar to the tripping of a circuit breaker in the home – that may trip fuses or transformers to prevent damage to the system.

These outages are largely driven by the use of portable heaters and strip heating systems, which require significantly more power than cooling. Also, gusty winds may blow vegetation and debris into power lines and cause localized outages.

Source FPL Web Site

Sunday evening update - "Sunday morning we set an all-time peak load record. Not just for winter, for all time," says FPL spokeswoman Helena Poleo. And as of about 6 p.m. Sunday evening, 10,000 customers in Palm Beach County were without power. 

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email TCR

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