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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Business Power is Risky

Understanding the risks associated with the provision of power by our power companies is an important consideration in business planning. Here in Florida our power sources are at risk from storms and other forms of disasters, both natural and otherwise.

There is no "national power grid" in the United States. The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. The continental United States is divided into three main power grid systems:

The Eastern Interconnected,
The Western Interconnected,
The Texas Interconnected

The Eastern and Western Interconnects have limited interconnections to each other, and the Texas Interconnect is only linked to the others via direct current lines. Both the Western and Texas Interconnects are linked with Mexico, and the Eastern and Western Interconnects are strongly interconnected with Canada. All electric utilities in the mainland United States are connected to at least one other utility via these power grids

As an example of the complexities The State of Florida has the following electric companies:

Florida Power & Light, Florida Municipal Power Agency, Florida Public Utility Company Palm Beach, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gulf Power, a part of the Southern Company, JEA, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Lakeland Electric, Lake Worth Utilities, LCEC, Ocala Electric, Orlando Utilities Commission, Duke Energy, City of Tallahassee utilities, TECO

So when you plan your power backup systems, consider your own generators, secondary power companies, and even secondary power grids. The larger your organization and the more critical your power needs are, you should be moving up this curve of power sources for your business.

What is your power plan?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



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