TECO Tests Stronger Poles


The loss of electricity is one of the enduring problems when a hurricane hits.
Downed power lines and snapped poles were major problems during Florida's 2004-2005 hurricane seasons.

In response, utilities like Florida Power & Light began aggressive pole replacement programs, putting in stronger but more expensive structures.

Our theory is why spend the money up front without knowing the proof of how well it will perform in a hurricane, says Bob Shireling, manager of distribution engineering standards with Tampa Electric Company.

TECO launched a limited hardening project at the Port of Tampa. Replacing 60 distribution and transmission poles with stronger structures that can withstand winds up to 135 mph.

Shireling says it cost $1 million to do that one mile about double the normal cost.

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