In a peninsular service territory characterized by frequent high winds, heavy rain, lightning storms and salt-soaked ocean breezes, keeping the lights on is no small challenge. In Florida, lightning strikes alone are at their highest levels since 2005.

In the past,. (FPL) has stayed ahead of the game by continually finding quicker, more efficient ways to locate a problem on its grid and fix it — in essence, becoming a well-oiled restoration machine, with new and better procedures to minimize customer interruptions. But this paradigm will only go so far.

To achieve aggressive system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) goals, FPL adopted the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense. FPL is pushing forward with full-scale deployment of advanced line sensors that have the potential to identify problems even before they cause a power outage.

Florida Power & Light Co., distribution grid sensor deployment

Line specialist Marlon Brandon installs a Sentient Energy MM3 intelligent sensor on a power line in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. FPL plans to install thousands of the devices throughout its service territory in 2016 to help locate electric faults and speed power restoration for its 4.8 million customers.