We invest millions each year on advanced technology to bring you reliable electric service. The result? You receive 99.9% reliability and fewer outages or "flickers." Outages are most often caused by animals and trees coming into contact with electrical equipment. When this happens, you can get status and restoration updates from our online Outage Map that's updated every 5 minutes.
There's plenty more. Read on:
Since 1899, we've provided safe and reliable electricity to our community. Today, we work hard to maintain 99.9% reliability for you. Ever wonder how we do it? Over the past five years, Tampa Electric has reduced momentary power outages, or flickers, by installing reclosers and Tripsavers.
Our 10-year storm plan will strengthen our system to better withstand extreme weather events, such as hurricanes. We're investing as much as $150 million a year in the plan so customers will see shorter outages after extreme weather events. As part of the plan we will convert 100 or more miles per year of overhead lines to underground, trim trees more often, upgrade transmission poles to concrete or steel, improve our substations and improve the technology used on our grid. All of this while our rates remain among the lowest in the state and significantly below the national average.
We manage nearly 436,000 poles across West Central Florida; 285,000 are wooden structures. Through our inspections, we identify which poles need to be fixed or replaced. In 2019, we replaced 149 transmission structures and more than 3,000 distribution poles.
Our community is growing, and, to keep ensuring reliable service, we must grow with it. We're installing 600 megawatts of solar power and we're about to begin installing an additional 600 megawatts. Combined, that's enough energy from the sun to power more than 200,000 homes.
Our crews maintain nearly 6,300 miles of overhead distribution and 1,300 miles of overhead transmission lines over Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
We are investing more than $3 million this year to continue installing "recloser" devices on power poles across our service area that are designed to stop power interruptions before they travel "downstream" to more customers.
Animals cause 17% of power outages and we work hard to protect our system and the animals that may come in contact with our equipment. We install squirrel guards and bird cones. We relocate birds' nests and build special platforms to encourage birds to build their homes away from our power lines.
We track outages and you can, too, with Tampa Electric's online Outage Map that updates every five minutes. You can learn the cause and restoration status in addition to the number of customers affected and the estimated restoration time.
Each year, we conduct inspections of our power lines and equipment. We even use helicopters and infrared technology to get a good look at our circuits. These inspections help us keep transmission-equipment-related outages to a minimum.
We maintain more than 230,000 lights across four counties in support of the communities we serve. You can help us by letting us know when you see one out so that we can restore the service quickly. We're also upgrading all lights with energy-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Visit our lighting section for more information.
Tampa Electric is an Emera company.
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