Florida Power & Light Co. announced this week its plan to start construction of the second segment of the new west-to-east transmission line to serve the growing electric needs of homes and businesses in Palm Beach County. The route’s second segment starts at an existing FPL substation located on 10th Street just east of I-95 in Delray Beach and will end at another existing substation located just east of Congress Avenue and north of Clintmoore Road in Boca Raton. Construction is planned to start in mid-August 2005.

“Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the country. That means more houses are being built, more commercial structures are in development and all that growth demands a higher usage of electricity and the planning and development of infrastructure that comes with it,” said Tony Newbold, external affairs manager for FPL.

In the last decade, Palm Beach County has seen an increase in population of about 30% and the number of FPL customer accounts has grown from 487,000 in 1990 to more than 650,000. In addition to the population growth, FPL’s system is also experiencing an increase in electricity usage, reflecting a 20% increase in the average home size in FPL’s service area.

The new west-to-east transmission line will bring power from the western part of the county to the eastern area and will provide ample power to homes and businesses located along the route. In March 2005, FPL started the first segment of the transmission line near the vicinity of the Village of Wellington.

As part of determining the preferred route for the segments, FPL conducted an environmental impact research, engineering study and reviewed information provided by the residents and businesses through:

  • Meetings with neighborhood associations and community leaders
  • Meetings with local government staff and elected officials
  • Community meetings held at locations within the project study area at which residents provided direct input
  • E-mail messages, letters and phone calls
FPL is evaluating the input received from hundreds of residents in the study area and once completed, FPL will announce the final leg of the route. In doing so, FPL has taken into consideration customers’ suggestions, environmental, community interests and cost factors.