Tampa Electric preps for hurricane season with self-healing tech, more than $180M invested into storm hardening
Image via Tampa Electric

The company is installing advanced technology that allows part of its system to self-heal.

Hurricane season is among us yet again with the 2023 season officially kicking off on June 1 and running through November 30. While many Floridians may have just started their preparations for this year’s hurricane season, the team at Tampa Electric has been preparing year-round.

Tampa Electric invested more than $180 million last year to strengthen its system against severe weather. Tampa Electric strengthened or replaced nearly 1,000 distribution power poles, strengthened more than 500 transmission structures, inspected nearly 36,000 wooden power poles, and trimmed tree limbs and branches from more than 3,000 miles of power lines.

In addition, Tampa Electric is installing advanced technology that enables parts of its system to self-heal. The technology automatically detects and isolates outages, then routes power around the problem — all without deploying a single worker into the field. With this technology, fewer Tampa Electric customers will be impacted by an outage, and those who are will experience shorter restoration times. In areas where this technology has already been implemented, customers observed a more than 50% reduction in outages and momentary flickers.

These investments and upgrades are all part of Tampa Electric’s Storm Protection Program, which is focused on strengthening its system to better withstand severe weather events.

Customers are already benefitting from this multi-year effort. During Hurricane Ian, none of the company’s storm-strengthened assets experienced any issues. And apart from Hurricane Ian, customers saw fewer repeat power outages in general in 2022 — and outages were shorter than those in 2021.

Tampa Electric wants its customers to be prepared, too. Floridians can visit tampaelectric.com/stormcenter/ for tips, restoration information and additional guidance.

In any event, but especially after a storm, safety is the No. 1 priority. In outlining its storm preparations, Tampa Electric offered some safety tips to customers:

— Stay away from downed power lines. Downed lines do not have to pop and snap to be energized. Assume all downed power lines are energized.

— Use portable generators safely. Do not connect a portable generator directly to a home circuit.

— In the event of an outage, prepare the home for power restoration. Make sure there are no flammable items on the stove, no irons left on or other potentially dangerous situations. Turn off as many appliances as possible that require electricity and turn them on individually after power is restored.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 830,000 customers in West Central Florida.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • tom palmer

    June 4, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    They could probably replace more transformers. That was the problem in my neighborhood after Ian.

  • tom palmer

    June 4, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    They could probably replace more transformers. That was the problem in my neighborhood after Ian.

Comments are closed.


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