OUC History Book

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1 0 0 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y E D I T I O N

orlando utilities commission

Orlando Utilities Commission 1875 ‒2023

the reliable one


Copyright © 2023 Orlando Utilities Commission. All Rights Reserved.

Orlando Utilities Commission 1875 ‒2023 A H I S TO RY O F WAT E R & E L E C T R I C I T Y IN CENTRAL FLORIDA

F O R E W O R D ver the years, much of OUC’s strength has come from the knowledge, pride and experience passed down from generation to generation of employees. As the son of an OUC lineman, I’ve witnessed — and been a part of — OUC’s rich history for more than half a century. This history book celebrates our team’s contributions, commemorates our past and fosters a sense of pride for future generations. Former OUC General Manager and CEO Ken Ksionek was the driving force behind this book. Amid the retirement of several long-tenured OUC employees, Ken wanted to capture our history through the eyes of our team. He tapped Roseann Harrington, then-VP of marketing, communications and community relations, to lead the effort. Roseann and her staff wove together interviews and personal accounts from dozens of current and retired OUC employees, including General Managers Curtis H. Stanton and Harry C. Luff; Assistant General Manager Louis E. Stone; General Counsel and Vice President of Government & Regulatory Relations Thomas B. Tart; and Director of Water Engineering Rick Coleman. The team worked tirelessly to compile photos, stories and facts, creating a comprehensive document that would do justice to OUC. The current edition has been updated to mark OUC’s 100th anniversary — a milestone that few organizations ever reach. So much has changed in that time span, from tremendous regional growth to astonishing advancements in technology. Yet one thing remains constant: The Reliable One’s outstanding service to our customers and community. Our region’s dependence on energy and water is perpetual and all-encompassing — and our customers’ needs have evolved commensurately. While unwavering reliability defined our first century, being an innovative solutions provider and the partner of choice is our vision for the future, as we strive to meet and exceed customer needs. We deliver on this vision thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees who help make a difference in our community and who make safety our priority every day — demonstrating we care by protecting the physical, mental and emotional health of others. The energy and water industries are in a period of great transformation, each on the cusp of a revolution that will usher in an era with the potential to change the world. We’re focused on accelerating innovation, leveraging technology to conserve water as a precious and limited resource, and evolving through increasingly complex challenges associated with creating a path to a Net Zero CO2 Emission electricity grid by 2050 with interim targets of 50% CO2 reduction by 2030 and 75% CO2 reduction by 2040. OUC has made steady progress on these forward-thinking goals and we’re well on our way to achieving our 2030 target. Since 1923, OUC’s ingenuity has propelled Central Florida’s growth and will continue to fuel the next century through adaptive solutions advanced through dedicated people and collaborative creativity. I’m optimistic about our community’s future and energized about OUC’s role in it. I can’t imagine a more exciting time in our history ... and we’re grateful for our customers, our employees and the community who will share in it.

Clint Bullock General Manager & CEO


2 6 14 22 38 64 94

C H A P T E R I : In the Beginning

C H A P T E R I I : The New Frontier

C H A P T E R I I I : America Races to the Moon

C H A P T E R I V : A Balancing Act

C H A P T E R V : Ups and Downs

C H A P T E R V I : Rapid Change

O U C Commissioners, Book Attributions and Operations Information

table of contents

in the beginning







Orlando’s first power plant opens, owned by

Orlando is incorporated.

Judge John M. Cheney and sons.


Orlando Water Company is incorporated.




and Sewerage Company

is started.

is chartered.

Construction of original

The Orlando Water



electric service begins

of 23 miles of mains and more

Twenty-four-hour in Orlando.

Orlando’s water system consists than 100 fire hydrants.


Judge John M. Cheney proposes a bond issue that would enable the citizens of Orlando to purchase and municipally operate a public utility.

in the beginning Page 2

1875–1922 ­ R O V I D I N G W A T E R A N D E L E C T R I C P S E R V I C E T O A N E W C I T Y he foundation for what would eventually become the Orlando Utilities Commission was laid even before the 20th century began. In 1875, when Orlando was incorporated, Central Florida was just beginning to evolve from a rural, agrarian economy based on cattle ranching and citrus growing to a thriving center of commerce. Attracted by fertile farm land and warm weather, settlers arrived from all over the country, as well as from abroad. In 1880, the South Florida Railroad added Orlando as one of its stops — helping to spur the first of many building and

Actual construction of the original water works — which consisted of a plant and a distribution system — began on March 18, 1887. The source of water was Lake Highland, which at that time was located well outside the Orlando city limits. In 1889, additional water mains were laid to serve most of the well-settled areas of Orlando with a safe domestic supply and fire protection.

land booms in the Sunshine State. By the turn of the century, Orlando had paved streets, as well as

The additions increased the distribution system

electricity and phone service. In 1908, it was officially dubbed “The City Beautiful.” By the time World

to about 13.5 miles of pipe.

War I broke out, the City had become a popular resort. The war generated additional industrial growth

As a result of the death of Herdic in 1890, a receivership took over the Orlando Water

and real-estate development throughout Florida that lasted through the early ‘20s — creating the need

Company. John M. Cheney, an Orlando attorney

for reliable water and electric infrastructure in the region . . . and setting the stage for the birth of OUC.

at the time, represented the bond holders. The landholders foreclosed the property and turned

Water for a New City The City of Orlando was incorporated in 1875

During the first two decades of the 20th century, the Orlando Water & Light Company was a successful enterprise producing and distributing water, electricity, ice and gas to

it over to a new corporation, the Orlando Water and Sewerage Company, its charter being dated June 6, 1892. J.A. Beeber, President of the First Bank of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, representing

by a popular election in which 22 citizens cast

the landholders, was President. Cheney became

their votes. Ten years later, the City received a

Secretary-Treasurer and Managing Director.

charter by action of the Florida Legislature. At

Cheney, who by then had become an

that time, the community’s only source of water

Orlando judge, purchased the water works

was a town well located next to the Orange

in 1893, serving as Secretary-Treasurer and

County Court House at the corner of Central

principal owner. The new company, the Orlando

and Main. On October 5, 1886, the Orlando

Water & Light Company, was granted the right

City Council granted to A.A. Parker and his

by the City of Orlando to pump water from

associates a 10-year franchise to construct,

Lake Highland and Lake Concord to supply

maintain and operate a water works within the

water to the City.

municipality. The Orlando Water Company was

By 1916, Orlando’s water supply system

incorporated on October 20, 1886 with initial

consisted of 23 miles of mains, which covered

capital of $150,000. Parker, Harry W. Lentz

the City of Orlando and

every part of the City, and more than 100 fire

and Peter Herdic were the incorporators.

hydrants were installed in different parts of

surrounding regions.

They and their financial backers, who were

the town.

from Huntington and Williamsport,

In 1917, the first filtrated treatment facilities

Pennsylvania, had successfully negotiated

were built near Lake Highland to treat water

franchise arrangements and built water works

obtained from the lake before passing into the

in other Pennsylvania communities as well as

City mains.

in Cairo, Illinois.

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in the beginning Orlando Gets First Power Plant At the turn of the century, Judge Cheney and

produce. Water from the water plant and

his sons began construction on an electric

electricity from the power plant were used to

generating plant on Lake Highland, renaming

produce the ice.

their company the Orlando Water & Light

In 1905, the company purchased a coal gas

Company. The power plant opened January 1,

plant and distribution network that had been

1901. Its lone generator, driven by a 150-

in operation since 1889. The gas plant, located

horsepower steam engine, had capacity of only

in the western part of the City, had a capacity

100 kilowatts. Initially, electricity was provided

of 300,000 cubic feet of gas per day, and the

to homes, stores and street lights on a “dark to

distribution network included 18 miles of

midnight” basis.

gas mains.

In 1901, the company was awarded a contract

More than 15 years later, in July 1921, Orlando

by the City of Orlando to provide 28 street lights

was authorized by the state legislature to issue

“of 2,000 nominal candle power or their

$1.5 million in bonds for purchase or construction

equivalent in incandescent lamps for $2,000 per

of a water and light plant, subject to a referendum

annum.” The City of Orlando previously had

vote. In September of that year, the City made an

granted the Orlando Water & Light Company a

agreement with the Orlando Water & Light

20-year franchise to provide water and electric

Company to buy the electric and water plant, at a

service starting January 1, 1901, and terminating

price to be fixed by a board of three arbiters.

on January 1, 1921. In 1903, the enterprising Cheney built an ice

By 1922, Orlando’s population had grown to about 10,000 and Judge Cheney — realizing a

plant (with an ice-making capacity of 60 tons per

need for wider services than his company was able

day and the capability to store 300 tons) at the

to supply — urged his friends to work and vote for

Lake Highland site, adjacent to the power and

a $975,000 bond issue to enable the citizens of

water plants. Sold locally and shipped to

Orlando to purchase and municipally operate his

neighboring towns, the ice was used to cool

privately owned utilities. Orlando Utilities

railroad cars and trucks that shipped fruit and

Commission was about to be born.

For the first time, water and electric utility service for the City of Orlando was consolidated under one organization —

in the beginning

John M. Cheney’s Orlando Water & Light Company.

John M. Cheney

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B R I N G I N G R E L I A B L E E L E C T R I C A N D WAT E R S E RV I C E T O O R L A N D O Judge John M. Cheney, “Founding Father and Visionary” Who was John M. Cheney? In the “History

private attorney, Orlando city attorney,

also served as judge for the Orange

of Orange County, Florida” published in

United States attorney for the southern

County juvenile court and recreation

1927 by William Fremont Blackman, Ph.D.,

district of Florida, United States judge

superintendent for the City of Orlando.

LL.D., it is said that “No other citizen of

for the southern district of Florida,

A section of the Dixie Highway in Central

Orange County was more esteemed and

Republican candidate for governor

Florida was officially named the Cheney

beloved than John Cheney.” His resumé

of Florida and Republican candidate

Highway in commemoration of his

was, to say the least, impressive. He was a

for the United States Senate. Cheney

service to Florida.

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the new frontier CHAPTER II:



OUC charter is drafted; first Commission meeting held.





Lake Ivanhoe water

• OUC moves into its new

plant is placed

building at the corner of

into service.

Wall Street and North Main Street. • Martin Brown is named General Manager.


First addition to Lake Ivanhoe power plant is completed.



OUC to improve

Lake Highland

infrastructure without

Service Yard.

Court decision enables

OUC builds

City Council approval.


• Curtis H. Stanton becomes General Manager of OUC. • OUC proudly celebrates 25 years of providing utilities for the


OUC has more than 13,000 customers — a 224 percent increase in just seven years.

Orlando area.


OUC installs underground feeder lines with funds from federal government.



Control Act becomes law.


Federal Water Pollution

Lake Highland Plant

the new frontier Page 6

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O U C I S C R E A T E D T O P R O V I D E H I G H – Q U A L I T Y WAT E R A N D E L E C T R I C I T Y hen OUC was born, Florida — and Orlando — were at the height

plant was finished, bringing generating capacity

of economic prosperity. Hundreds of thousands of people had

to 9 megawatts (MW).

descended on the state during the early ‘20s, lured by windfall

Through the next two decades, the citizenowned utility grew rapidly to serve its expanding

profits from land speculation. To keep up, the City embarked on a costly

customer base. During this time, OUC completed

improvement program to provide the infrastructure for development. Notable

two additions to the Lake Ivanhoe Plant and also

additions to the landscape during that time included the Orlando Public Library in 1923 and the Municipal Auditorium (now the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre) in 1926. But, the second half of the “Roaring Twenties” told a different story. Florida’s land boom began to fizzle. Investors pulled out, and the pace of growth slowed. In 1928, the San Felipe-Lake Okeechobee Hurricane cut a swath through the state, leaving widespread destruction — a metaphoric harbinger of what would soon follow. The next year, the Stock

opened its first office building located at the intersection of Washington and Main streets in downtown Orlando. In 1926, OUC built two 250,000-gallon elevated water storage tanks to maintain an acceptable amount of water pressure at the extremities of the system. The tanks were strategically placed to

Market crash of 1929 launched the world into two decades of turmoil. But, through the Great Depression

release water flow that boosted pressure when it

and World War II, Orlando persevered — and its fledgling utility grew into a trusted and reliable partner.

was excessively low, during times of high use. The tanks were then refilled at night when

Establishing an Infrastructure When Orlando residents voted in 1923 to purchase the privately held Orlando Water & Light Company, they were setting the stage for generations of high-quality, reliable utility service that would provide the infrastructure for growth. During that year, a special act of the Florida Legislature created the Orlando Utilities Commission, providing it with full authority to operate the water and power plants as a municipal utility. OUC began serving 2,795

Tank” was located on Copeland Drive west of Orange Avenue, at the south end of the distribution system; the other tank was installed on Washington Street on the system’s east side. At the time, Lakes Highland and Ivanhoe were OUC’s primary sources of drinking water. However, dry conditions reported in 1927 lowered water levels in these lakes, making it necessary to tap remote Lake Underhill as an additional supply source. A 24-inch raw water pipe was constructed to connect Lake Underhill to the plant on Lake Ivanhoe. Two filters were added to the Lake Ivanhoe Plant, each with a capacity of 2 MGD,

electric and 2,290 water customers for a total

bringing the total filtration capacity of the plant

investment of $1.5 million.

to 8 MGD.

At that time, the new water and electric plant

Lake Ivanhoe Plant

consumption was down. The “Old Copeland

By 1930, Orlando’s population had grown

facilities located on Lake Ivanhoe were just

to 27,330, and OUC had more than 13,000

nearing completion. In 1924, the water plant

customers — a 224 percent increase in just seven

was placed into service with a rated capacity of

years. That year, the utility generated more than

4 million gallons per day (MGD). Two years later,

14 million kilowatts (kW) and pumped 814 million

the first addition to the electric portion of the

gallons of water.

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the new frontier J. Thomas Gurney, author of the original OUC charter.

OUC Charter Drafted, First Meeting Held Drafted by local attorney J. Thomas Gurney, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) charter created a five-member Commission. Four citizens of Orlando were named to serve as Commissioners along with the Mayor of Orlando, who was automatically an ex-officio member of the board. These individuals were to serve without pay and be appointed for staggered four-year terms. They could serve second terms if re-nominated by the Commission. The Commission was designed to function as a Board of Directors of a corporation. The individuals who framed the OUC charter took every possible precaution to set up the Commission in a manner that would effectively eliminate political pressure and influence. The first official meeting of the newly formed Orlando Utilities Commission occurred on June 25, 1923 at 10:30 a.m. in the board room of the First National Bank. City Attorney W.B. Crawford asked each member of the Commission to draw a ticket, sight unseen, which established the term of office each new Commissioner would hold. The results were: Judge W.T. Bland, one year; J.F. Ange, two years; L.C. Massey, three years; H.H. Dickson and H.L. Beeman, each four years. It was moved by Ange, and seconded by Massey that the Honorable W.T. Bland be elected President of the Commission for the ensuing year.

Navigating the Great Depression During the Great Depression, the federal government provided funds to help OUC install underground electric feeder lines.

of the General Manager and Assistant General Manager. A year later, OUC defended and won its

Completed in 1934, this project generated

legal authority to add the equipment and

250 jobs at a time when work was virtually

infrastructure necessary to provide reliable

impossible to find. That year, OUC offered

electric and water service to its customers

the lowest residential electric rates in Florida;

without approval from the Orlando City

in fact, the utility actually reduced electric

Council. In the 1937 Evans case, OUC got the

rates from 8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to

go-ahead to spend $645,000 to build a new

6 cents per kWh in 1934.

turbine at the Lake Ivanhoe Plant.

Throughout the ‘30s, OUC promoted the

The late 1930s saw the addition of another

cost-saving benefits of using electricity with the

elevated water storage tank on Rugby Street

slogan “Cook Electrically and Save Money”—

in College Park and a second Lake Ivanhoe

even offering 120 electric ranges for just

power plant addition that brought OUC’s total

5 cents per month, added to a customer’s bill.

generation capacity to 19 MW.

OUC not only installed the stoves, but also maintained them free of charge.

In 1936, Martin W. Brown, who began his career as the utility’s first plant engineer, was

In 1936, OUC relocated its offices from

promoted to General Manager. The following

City Hall to its new office building at Wall and

year, the Commission formally adopted a policy

Main streets in downtown Orlando across the

of keeping the people fully informed about

street from the Southern Bell Telephone

utility operations and “Where the Money Goes”

Company Building and the Orange County

to benefit the taxpayers and the citizens of

Court House. The first floor was occupied by

Orlando. This included the publishing of annual

the cashier, sales and contract department,

reports and informational bulletins on various

credit department, reception room and Offices

subjects of interest to OUC’s citizen-owners.




Florida native Martin W. Brown worked his way up through the ranks of the Orlando Utilities Commission on his way to becoming General Manager in 1936. The utility’s first chief engineer, he was promoted to plant superintendent in 1932. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Municipal Utilities Association of Florida, and during World War II, was secretary of the Florida Power Pool State Defense Council.

the new frontier Page 8

In the early years, OUC had to spend time and energy to educate customers about the advantages of electricity and promote the use of electric appliances in the home. Source: 1947-48 Orlando Utilities Commission Reports to the residents of Orlando.

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the new frontier PROVIDING SAFE,


DRINKING WATER Orlando Utilities Commission was established on the principle of providing safe, high-quality water to its customers. The water system facilities owned and operated by the newly formed OUC were described in detail in an October 13, 1930 newspaper article titled “Orlando Utilities: A Great Success.” The following excerpt is from that article and illustrates OUC’s commitment to providing the highest quality water for its customers.


he water supply of the City of Orlando is a source of considerable pride and satisfaction to the citizens because of the high quality of the water for domestic and commercial purposes. The water is derived from a chain of fresh water lakes in and adjacent to the City. The raw water in these lakes is of low mineral content and is classed as a soft water. The Orlando Utilities Commission has a modern purification plant. The design and operation of this plant is in accord with the most approved water works practice. The plant is supervised by an

experienced water works bacteriologist and chemist, and every effort is made to maintain the highest standards of quality. Orlando has never had an epidemic of typhoid fever or other disease traceable to the water supply. The plant is pumping close to one billion gallons of water each year (2.7 MGD) and distributing the same through a system consisting of 156 miles of water mains in sizes ranging from 2 to 20 inches upon which there are more than 8,500 customer connections, and 427 municipal fire hydrants.”

the new frontier

The OUC water pumping process — from low-lift pumps to aerators to settling basins to the high-lift pumps that carried water to the City mains.

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1923–1949 The American Red Cross set up a surgical dressing unit at OUC during WWII.

On the Homefront America entered the Second World War after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on

created jobs. The state’s citrus industry also

December 7, 1941. As our country fought

began to thrive, fueling growth throughout

for freedom on the battlegrounds of Europe

Central Florida.

and the Pacific, OUC helped on the

To keep pace, OUC embarked mid-decade

homefront — keeping the power on and the

on a major expansion of the water treatment

water flowing for the citizens of Orlando.

and electric generation facilities. The new

And that wasn’t always easy. According to

Lake Highland Plant, containing both electric

Orlando: A Centennial History, in June of

generation and water treatment equipment,

1942, street lights were cut off “when the

would be built west of Lake Highland, south

city faced an acute power shortage due to

of the railroad tracks, directly across from the

lack of oil. Merchants were asked to cut air

existing plant. OUC also constructed a new

conditioning and display lights, and municipal

water main system that replaced many of the

lights were discontinued, with the exception

original mains that were installed beginning

of traffic signals.”

in 1886. A 20-inch main was laid from the

Throughout some of the darkest years in

plant on Lake Ivanhoe down Orange Avenue

this nation’s history, OUC set the stage for

to Lake Lucerne. Up to this point, the largest

what would become a legacy of community

water main in the City’s chief artery was

service — opening its doors to the American

10 inches in diameter.

Red Cross, which set up a surgical dressing

With the addition of new infrastructure

unit on the third floor of OUC’s office building.

came the need for a centralized service

One of the first such units in the war effort, it

operations area. In 1942, OUC built the 38,900-

served as the state’s training headquarters for

square-foot Lake Highland Service Yard, which

surgical instructors. More than 250,000

accommodated the new warehouse, meter

dressings were made at OUC, representing

rooms, paint shop, truck sheds and operations

107,447 hours of volunteer effort.

offices. The Yard was constructed on the north

During the war, the economies of Orlando Lake Highland Service Yard construction circa 1942.

from the Depression, as defense contracts

and other Florida cities were able to rebound

Page 11

shore of Lake Highland, on a private rail siding, adjacent to the Lake Ivanhoe Plant.

the new frontier OUC Consumer Accounting Department, 1947.

Forecasting and Funding Growth

Potential Electric and Water Plant in Windermere In 1944, faced with growing demand for electricity and water, OUC purchased 65 acres

During the early 1940s, OUC began what would

of land on the southwestern part of town as sites

become a tradition of prudent financial planning

for a new power plant and water treatment facility.

and customer demand forecasting. In 1942, the

The two parcels of property were strategically

utility created cash reserves to pay for a $5 million

located on Lake Down in Windermere, Florida.

plant and property expansion program based

OUC also began purchasing right-of-way for

on a study that looked at future population and

transmission lines and water mains to tie in to

potential consumer requirements. The plan

OUC's existing system.

included increasing generating capacity by

However, because residents opposed using

installing a new steam turbine generator at the

the lake as a source of drinking water, plans for

Lake Highland property.

the water plant were abandoned and the land

Projecting the need for an increase in water

was sold in 1964. The power plant site was

supply capacity of about 150 percent, the plan

retained for potential future purposes and

also suggested the addition of concrete and

renamed Camp Down.

cast-iron pipes and tubular tunnels to connect Lakes Underhill, Highland, Ivanhoe, Big Fairview Camp Down in Windermere, Florida.

and Little Fairview.

Curt Stanton: “Trailblazer, Leader and Statesman” In 1947, OUC hired Curtis H. Stanton as Assistant General Manager.


urtis H. Stanton was born in Key West, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1940 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and was hired by the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York. He joined Orlando Utilities Commission in 1947 as Assistant General Manager, working for GM Martin Brown. Shortly thereafter, Brown passed away, and Stanton took the reins. He was just 29. Heavily recruited by the OUC board from General Electric, Stanton had already developed a reputation as someone who knew how to get things done. He was the perfect person to lead a small utility facing rampant growth. One of his first duties was the construction of the Lake Highland Plant,

a power and water plant that would come online in 1949. The Indian River Plant in Brevard County followed more than a decade later in 1960. Stanton remained at the helm of OUC for 35 years, turning the local utility into a powerful player in the electric and water utility industry. A trailblazer whose relationshipbuilding skills enabled him to forge valuable partnerships with organizations both large and small, Stanton was instrumental in forming entities like the Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group (FCG) that benefited not only citizens of Orlando, but people throughout Florida as well. Under his leadership, OUC’s water system was upgraded from surface water to well water, and coal and nuclear power were added to the generation portfolio. Stanton once said, “In all my years of experience, I can tell you there is nothing louder than a silent power plant.” As a result during his tenure, he made sure that OUC

power plants were built with the best available technology at the time of construction and were among the most efficiently run generation units in the country. Stanton was active in the local community, as well as in national water and electric trade associations. As president of the American Water Works Association, he represented that group on a visit to President Jimmy Carter in the White House in 1979. He also served as the president of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the prestigious John Young Award from Junior Achievement for distinguishing himself in his field and bringing national acclaim and public notice to Orlando.

the new frontier Page 12

1923–1949 Lake Ivanhoe Plant in forefront and construction of Lake Highland Plant behind the facility.

Post-War Era Positions OUC for the Next Generation In the post-war 1940s, America experienced

The new Lake Highland water treatment

rapid industrial and urban growth, which

plant had a rated capacity of 16 MGD and

resulted in the pollution of lakes, rivers and

featured highly sophisticated equipment

streams. This prompted Congress to enact

capable of treating raw water, which by 1949

the first major legislation in the country’s

was being withdrawn from Lakes Highland,

history (the Federal Water Pollution Control

Ivanhoe, Concord, Adair and Underhill. The

Act of 1948) to “enhance the quality and value

surface water was used for treatment in the

of our water resources and to establish a

water plant, as well as to cool the electric plant.

national policy for the prevention, control and

As the decade drew to a close, OUC — having

abatement of water pollution.” Later known

weathered the nation’s economic collapse, the

as the Clean Water Act, this was seen as the

Great Depression and World War II — was

beginning of government regulation of both

poised to enter a period of rapid growth and

the water and energy industries. In 1949,

change, fueled by a burgeoning population

OUC completed the new Lake Highland Plant.

and driven by Space Age technology.

For its time, the power plant was considered to be a modern high-pressure facility, having a capacity of 25,000 kW. When combined with the existing 19,000 kW, the plant’s total generation capacity grew to 44,000 kW. OUC made adequate provisions, so that additional units could be added at minimum cost, as Orlando grew and demand for electrical energy increased. Electric units at Lake Ivanhoe.

Page 13

america races to the moon CHAPTER III:



• Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 is enacted.






• OUC files a

• Indian River Plant, Unit 2 is completed. • OUC begins burying power lines and replacing overhead lines with underground ones, along Colonial Drive, west to Texas Avenue.

request with the Atomic Energy

• OUC employee newsletter, the Spark &

Commission to join

Splash, debuts.

a study of the


possibilities of using nuclear-


OUC switches from surface water to well water from Floridan Aquifer.

powered generators. • Glenn L. Martin Company decides to build missile facility


OUC installs first data processing system, the IBM-360.

in southwest Orlando.


• OUC develops Handbook, formalizing employee policies.


• Interstate 4 opens in Orlando,

Additions to the Lake

providing access to new areas

Highland Plant go into

of development in the northern


and southern regions of Orange County.


• Air Quality Act of 1967 is enacted.

Indian River Plant goes online.



OUC opens new

• Clean Air Act of 1963 is enacted.

Administration Building

• 230,000-volt tie “interconnects”

and Customer

OUC and FPL.

Service Center.

america races to the moon Page 14

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O U C S E T S S I G H T S O N T E C H N O L O G Y , R E L I A B I L I T Y ollowing World War II, Florida was recognized as the last of the Eastern frontier states. By 1950, as Orlando’s population swelled to 51,826 (officially becoming a “metropolitan area”), the City had become the region’s financial, retail and transportation hub. Office buildings and shopping centers were built to support business and residential growth. As America raced to the moon, OUC began to focus on new types of fuel and sources of water. The new Orlando Army Air Base and the arrival of the Glenn L. Martin Company in 1956 also put Central Florida on the map as a center for military research and production. As demand rose, OUC began a tradition of focusing on reliability and investing in new technology.

Photo ASII-40-5875 Courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Setting Standards for the Future: OUC Pioneers Static Shield Wire OUC always understood the importance of

strikes — a cause of frequent power outages.

reliability — but during the 1950s, the utility

Although shield wire was commonly used

aggressively took this commitment to the next

for this purpose on transmission lines, its

level, investing in new technology that would

application on distribution systems was limited.

set standards for the future.

After an OUC study showed the process to be

For example, OUC was one of the first

effective, it became standard design throughout

utilities in the state to use static shield wire to

the OUC system — improving reliability in

protect its distribution system against lightning

“the lightning capital of the United States.”

Page 15

america races to the moon Commitment to Facilitating Growth: T H E


L .


In 1956, when the Glenn L. Martin Company decided to locate a large missile facility in southwest Orlando, OUC worked to provide the infrastructure needed to support the addition of this new company to our community.

“We found out where the Glenn Martin Company was going to locate about a week before it was publically announced. In those days, whoever had lines closest served the customer. So we got around there close enough. We also had the advantage of providing water in addition to electricity, which was a big plus for Martin. We agreed to build them a separate water plant, because they were too far away from our water lines. And we actually dug wells and put in a small water treatment plant.” – Curt Stanton OUC General Manager at the time The Martin facility, which would eventually employ thousands of people to manufacture missiles and other hardware for the U.S. military, became a major player in the growth that occurred in southwest Orange County during the 1950s and 1960s. The defense plant itself occupied hundreds of acres of land,


and the company also purchased thousands of additional acres in southwest Orange County, which were developed into large commercial and “We were serving Martin industrial tracts, such as initially with 12 kV (12,000 Orlando Central Park. volts). It was coming all the In tandem with the way from the Lake Highland construction of the Plant. Boy, that is a long defense plant and the haul for that kind of load other properties, large residential neighborhoods for one circuit. So that’s why there was this impetus also sprung up. The new for us to immediately go out OUC Martin Plant there with 115 kV and put in provided water supply a substation.” for the new defense facility and the ancillary – Lou Stone developments that Plant Engineer at the time accompanied it. During this time, the Pine Hills area, located eight miles north of the defense plant, also began to undergo extensive residential and associated commercial development to accommodate many of the plant employees. To support this new growth area, OUC built the Pine Hills Water Plant in 1958 and installed distribution mains to deliver water to customers living in this unincorporated area of Orange County. Because the Martin Plant was located too far from existing lines, OUC built a dedicated water treatment plant to serve the facility and extended a 115 kilovolt (kV) line to provide electric service.

Orlando Utilities Commission, led by GM Curt Stanton, touring new Martin Water Plant, 1958.

Page 16

1950–1969 Beneath the Surface: Drawing Water from a New Source — the Floridan Aquifer To provide a safe and reliable drinking water

be spread out, strategically located within the

supply for its customers, OUC began in 1957 to

service area and interconnected by means of

switch from surface water to well water drawn

transmission pipes.

from the Floridan Aquifer. As demand increased, withdrawals from the

OUC converts from surface to well water.

This new concept would provide OUC customers with an extremely reliable and

lakes dropped water levels to unacceptable

operationally efficient water system.

limits, especially during years when rainfall

Water from the aquifer also offered other

was very low. In addition, the quality of the

advantages: It was high quality compared

raw water pumped from the lakes required

to lake water, requiring less extensive and

extensive coagulation/filtration treatment,

less costly treatment; and it was plentiful,

which was very costly.

eliminating the environmental and aesthetic

This shift to groundwater meant that plants

problems that were caused when lakes

could be located anywhere in the service area,

began to be over-pumped beyond their

because wells could be drilled down to the

sustainable yield.

aquifer at any location. Thus, water plants could

In 1957, OUC presented the City of Orlando with the Lake Eola fountain. Originally the idea of Linton E. Allen, then President of the First National Bank (now SunTrust), the City landmark was first called the “Centennial

america races to the moon Fountain” but was renamed the “Linton E. Allen

Memorial Fountain” after the community leader’s death.

Page 17

america races to the moon The Power of Interconnections with Other Utilities


he 1960s saw advancements in transmitting and pooling electricity. Load dispatchers used the economic loading slide rule, which was the first

analog computer at OUC. This helped them determine which units were the most “economical” to run during certain periods of time, based on factors like fuel cost and

Larger, More Efficient Lake Highland Units Come Online In 1958 — after the larger, more efficient

for peaking service. At the time of their

Lake Highland Plant went into operation and

installation, these units were the largest

the Lake Ivanhoe Plant was taken offline —

peaking gas turbines in the world.

the OUC electric system grew rapidly. In just

General Manager Curt Stanton and Plant

one year, load increased 25 percent. In fact,

Engineer Harry Luff co-authored a technical

OUC was expanding so quickly that its

paper on operation and maintenance of

interconnections provided OUC the ability to connect with

engineering firm recommended installing two

these turbines, which was presented to the

other utilities and back each other up.

gas turbines, in addition to the existing steam

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

units, at the Lake Highland Plant to be used

Gas Turbine Conference in 1961.

transmission availability. Utilities stood on their own and had to have enough backup generation to cover the loss of units. For that reason,

Interconnections were established with Florida Power Corporation in Orlando and later with Florida Power & Light (FPL) on the East Coast near the new plant site on the Indian River. At 2:46 p.m. on October 15, 1963, a 230,000-volt tie between OUC and FPL was energized at the Commission’s Indian River Plant by Curt Stanton, Executive Vice President and GM of OUC, and Alan Wright, Vice President of FPL. “The energizing of this tie represents the completion of another phase of the Orlando Utilities’ overall expansion

OUC Conducts First Long-Range Planning Study As OUC’s service territory continued to

transmission lines that would loop around

expand, the utility undertook the first long-range

Orlando. All recommendations were approved

planning study of its electric system with outside

by the Commission.

engineering firm Black and Veatch to evaluate the system and establish a plan for facilitating growth.

In 1961, the high-voltage transmission loop around the Orlando area was completed —

To increase system reliability, Black and

placing OUC in a strong position to add more

expanding system,” Stanton said. “This new tie offers a

Veatch recommended that OUC establish

interconnections with other power systems. And

further source of supply of energy in the event of power

interconnections with other power systems,

in 1964, OUC began burying power lines and

failure and increases the total tie capacity to 350,000 kW.”

select a site for a new power plant and install

replacing overhead lines with underground utilities

(Orlando Sentinel, October 16, 1963)

a new generating unit. The study also revealed

along Colonial Drive west to Texas Avenue.

program to strengthen and increase the capability of its

the need for new substations and 115 kV

Living Better . . . Electrically As part of a national campaign launched by the electric industry, OUC participated in the Gold Medallion Home program, which touted the built-in advantages of “living better electrically.” Dwellings that were awarded this seal used “low-cost electricity” exclusively for “winter heat, summer cooling, year-around cooking and water-heating, as well as for light and power.”

Page 18

Harry Luff, Curt Stanton, Ted Pope.

Indian River Plant Hailed as “Marvel of Efficiency and Modern Technology” In 1960, a new generating plant was designed

reported to have been the largest single project

at the time: “Working to keep electricity your

and constructed in Brevard County along the Indian

money-wise in OUC history (OUC Today, Indian

B.E.S.T. value!”

River. Aptly named the Indian River Plant (IRP), this

River Anniversary Issue, Vol. XXI, No. 1, 1985).

oil- and gas-fired unit was more than twice the size

When IRP opened, local media hailed it as a

provided two strategic advantages: an unlimited

of the largest unit at the Lake Highland Plant.

marvel of efficiency and modern technology. With

supply of cooling water for the steam condensers

The switch connecting IRP to OUC’s electric

a nameplate rating of 78.5 MW and the capability

and water transportation for fuel oil deliveries from

system was closed for the first time at 11:53 p.m.

to produce more than 90 MW under peak load

nearby Port Canaveral.

on February 20, 1960. One thousand people

conditions, its generators would power growth in

braved bad weather to attend the dedication of

the area — producing energy at a cost of two cents

oil via Port Canaveral — occurred four years

the new plant, located halfway between Titusville

per kilowatt hour, the lowest price in the history of

later after the completion of the 205-MW Unit 2

and Cocoa. Built at a cost of $16 million, IRP was

the utility, clearly supporting OUC Today’s slogan

at IRP.

Page 19

The plant’s location along the Indian River

That milestone — the first barge delivery of

america races to the moon Environmental Regulations In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the federal government enacted environmental legislation that would have a lasting effect on public utilities. The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 — the first federal legislation involving air pollution — funded research for scope and sources of air pollution. The Clean Air Act of 1963 was the first federal legislation regarding air pollution control. It authorized the development of a national program to address air pollution-related environmental problems and authorized research into techniques to minimize air pollution. The Air Quality Act of 1967 authorized enforcement procedures for air pollution problems involving interstate transport of pollutants and authorized expanded research activities.

OUC Helps Support City Services In 1966, OUC transferred $4.18 million to

sewerage and sanitary facilities, street paving,

the City of Orlando, which amounted to more

cleaning and lighting, parks and playgrounds,

than 50 percent of the City’s operating

traffic engineering, airport operation, health

budget. Power and water contributions

department services and many more

helped provide police and fire protection,

community services.

Mapping a System of Pipes, Power Lines, Plants and Substations One of the most significant accomplishments

easily. It needed not only the appropriate

of the late 1960s was the improvement of

technology, but also required that people

OUC’s electric mapping system. Up to that

change longstanding habits.

time, most of the feeder circuits and electrical

The mapping system process was continually

switching capabilities had resided in the minds

upgraded and improved as time and technology

of a few people and hard copies of maps. But,

advanced to the point where even field

as OUC grew, better documentation was

personnel have access to mapping and

needed. This process, however, did not come

switching procedures via portable computers.

Page 20

Groundbreaking for the OUC Administration Building.

OUC Water Department Chosen Best in State In 1968, the Florida State Board of Health

populations of more than 25,000, the state

chose OUC’s water department as the best

board of field sanitary engineers judged the

large-city operation in the state for the previous

Orlando plant tops in product quality, employee

three years. After inspecting private and

professionalism, preventive maintenance, safety,

municipal facilities serving areas with

cleanliness and emergency planning.

OUC Opens New Administration Building On April 18, 1968, OUC opened its new,

Manager, “The new Administration

eight-story, $3 million Administration Building

Building will give the Commission a greater

and Customer Service Center at the corner of

operational capacity, a needed capacity

Orange Avenue and Anderson Street. The

with the advent of Disney World, Florida

new facility, which would serve as OUC’s

Technological University and the new Naval

home in downtown Orlando for the next 40

Training Center. These additions to our

years, housed all of the Commission’s

economy will put increasing demands upon

administrative personnel, as well as business

OUC to supply efficient, low-cost electric

and accounting divisions.

and water services to a wide variety of new

According to Curtis H. Stanton, OUC Executive Vice President and General

industries, businesses, public institutions and residential areas.”

Information Technology: From Spiral Notebooks to Mainframes Logging information into spiral notebooks was standard procedure when OUC first began operations in 1923. In 1966, that all changed, as the utility installed the first stage of its new $600,000 data processing system. The basic units of the new system, the IBM-360, were installed on the seventh floor of City Hall until the Commission’s new building was complete. B.L. Cording, OUC data processing division director, told the Orlando Morning Sentinel that “the IBM-360 is a vast,

america races to the moon powerful system that will simplify OUC’s programming effort

and will allow maximum utilization of equipment and provide continuous availability of necessary information.” (Orlando Sentinel, 1966)

Page 21

a balancing act








written by Assistant General Manager Harry Luff.

elected first African-

female OUC Board President.

OUC develops its first Administrative Policy Manual,

• Charles J. Hawkins is

Grace Lindblom is elected first

American President of


OUC Board. • OUC Water Operations purchases five water

Orlando Utilities

system plants.

Commission celebrates


control center goes into

due to rate pressures resulting

operation at OUC’s

from the fuel crunch. This

Lake Highland Plant.

was the only layoff in the

New computer-based

OUC lays off 39 employees

• OUC begins Home Energy Audit

50th anniversary.




• On October 31, Curt

program. • Lake Highland Plant is retired.

Stanton retires at age 65. • Harry Luff is promoted to GM. • OUC acquires Dr. Phillips Water System.

company’s history. Of the


• GM Harry Luff retires; Ted Pope is named

original group, 13 employees

General Manager.

were later rehired.

• OUC launches “Proud to Serve Y.O.U.”


OUC helps launch the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) – a non-profit, joint action public agency formed by 30 municipal electric utilities.

employee initiative.


• Stanton Energy Center begins commercial operation.


OUC opens first enclosed

a balancing act • OUC introduces the use of

substation on Robinson Street

mainframe computing.

in Downtown Orlando.

Page 22


70 I N 19


UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH AND GROUNDBREAKING ENVIRONMENTAL REGUL ATION rom an energy crisis . . . to a heat wave and drought . . .

For OUC, this era marked a period of historic expansion that would

to a more competitive business climate, the 1970s and

continue for more than three decades. Between 1978 and 1988,

1980s marked a period of both turbulence and growth for

Orlando became the No. 1 destination for relocation in Florida, and

the energy and water industries. It was a perfect storm for brewing

the utility grew its customer base by a record 41 percent. In that same

sweeping environmental regulation, including the establishment of

time period, OUC’s assets rose from $245 million to $1.2 billion as

the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

infrastructure was added to meet customers’ needs. Thanks to the opening of Walt Disney World® in 1971, Central Florida also became the nation’s top tourist destination; and Orlando International Airport grew to one of the busiest in the world. With increased development came a heightened urgency to find new ways to move data and communicate. As a result, this time period would see major developments in information technology as the world moved from mainframes to desktop computers. In the midst of such transformative change, OUC faced a balancing act. To accommodate rapid growth, new environmental regulations and the need for fuel diversity, the utility added a series of new power plants, established energy and water partnerships, and significantly increased its water operation through acquisition of the Dr. Phillips Utilities, which served customers in southwest Orange County near the soon-to-be tourism corridor. OUC — like the region it served — was laying a foundation for the future. At the same time, it proved to be one of the strongest municipal utilities in the nation by being the first to receive an “AAA” rating on its bonds from a major rating agency in 1989.

Copyright 1971 Gary Gimee

Pictured left: In 1971, Walt Disney World® opened and Central Florida became home to the largest theme park in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Although Disney World was not inside OUC’s service territory, the park acted as a catalyst for growth throughout the region. From hotels and restaurants to accommodate tourists to homes for Disney employees, the demand for OUC power and water grew rapidly as a result of the park’s opening.

Page 23

a balancing act New Standards for Clean Air and Water From 1970 to 1989, the nation and Florida,

and protection of our waterways from pollution.

in particular, experienced some of the most

The EPA was given authority to set standards and

sweeping environmental regulation in history —

oversee the state and local water suppliers who

impacting everything from the air we breathe

implement those standards.

and water we drink to the way water pollution

In 1972, as a record heat wave hit Florida,

is monitored and large-scale power generation

emergency power cutbacks were invoked for at

projects are approved.

least 350 industries statewide, and a waiver was

On the electric side, the establishment of

granted for generating-plant pollution standards.

the Clean Air Act resulted in a major shift in

Orlando remained one of the few areas in the

the government’s role in air pollution control,

state able to operate with power reserves and

significantly expanding its enforcement authority.

to sell power to electricity-poor regions. Power

As a result of increased monitoring requirements,

consumption in Orlando was 350,000 kW, leaving

the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OUC with 40,000 kW to market.

was formed to consolidate all environmental

As a result of increased demand and the need

regulations and policies governing air, water

to expedite power plant projects through the

and land under one agency.

permitting process, the Florida Electric Power

On the water side, the amendment of the

Plant Siting Act (PPSA) was passed in 1973,

Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 and

creating a centralized process for licensing large

the enactment of the Safe Drinking Water Act set

power plant projects.

new standards for ensuring drinking water quality

Page 24

Unprecedentedl Environmenta Regulations From 1970 to 1989, more major environmental legislation was passed in the United States than in all the years before and after . . . combined. Much of the regulation was geared to clean water and clean air — and, as such, it had a profound effect on utility companies. Following is a summary of those laws. • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to consolidate into one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standardsetting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. EPA's mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment — air, water and land. • The Clean Air Act of 1970 (CAA) resulted in a major shift in the federal government's role in air pollution control. This legislation authorized the development of comprehensive federal and state regulations to limit emissions from both stationary (industrial) and mobile sources. The enforcement authority was substantially expanded. • 1972 Amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 were approved. Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to sweeping

amendments to the original law. New amendments to the Water Pollution Control Act changed the thrust of enforcement of water quality standards, regulating the amount of pollutants in a given body of water, effluent limitations, and the amount of pollutants being discharged from particular point sources. • The Florida Electric Power Plant Siting Act of 1973 (PPSA, ss. 403.501-.518) established the state’s centralized process for licensing large power plants via one certification that replaces local and state permits. Local governments and state agencies within whose jurisdiction the power plant is to be built participate in the process. Certification addresses permitting, land use and zoning, and property interests. • The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (SDWA) was enacted by Congress to protect the country’s public drinking water supply and ensure the quality of Americans’ drinking water. Under SDWA, the EPA sets drinking water standards and oversees the states, localities and water suppliers who implement those standards. • 1977 Amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 (now referred to as the Clean Water Act), established the basic structure for

Page 25

regulating pollutants discharged into the waters of the U.S., giving EPA the authority to implement pollution-control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. • 1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970 set major permit review requirements to ensure attainment and maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established under the CAA of 1970. • 1981 Amendments to the Clean Water Act streamlined the municipal construction grants process, improving the capabilities of treatment plants built under the program. • 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act required a number of actions to protect drinking water and its sources: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs and groundwater wells. • 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act phased out the construction grants program, replacing it with the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, more commonly known as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. This new funding strategy addressed water quality needs by building on EPA-state partnerships.

a balancing act Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group Formed; Utilities Work Together to Lower Power Costs through Economic Dispatch In 1972, the Florida Electric Power

OUC celebrated its Golden Anniversary.

Those close to the negotiations felt that

Coordinating Group, Inc. (FCG) was formed

Curt Stanton’s relationship with Marshall

to promote coordinated facilities, planning

McDonald, the CEO of Florida Power & Light

and transmission studies of all electric

(FPL), was key to the successful establishment

utilities in the state — including those that

of FCG. Stanton and McDonald had known

were investor-owned, as well as rural electric

each other since college. The trust between

cooperatives and municipals. Although it

the two men — one representing the largest

was initially difficult to get an organization

investor-owned utility and the other, the

of competing utilities off the ground, FCG

second largest municipal utility in the

ultimately became a highly successful

state — allowed the parties to put their

endeavor, benefiting all Florida electric

differences aside and work together in the

customers by lowering power costs. This

best interest of Floridians. This was the first

was accomplished through the economic

step toward creating a central economic

dispatch of generating units and the

dispatch where utilities coordinated

establishment of power interchange

outages and had a means of utilizing the

brokering, which effectively achieved the

most economical and efficient units first. It

objectives of a formal power pool without

also enabled OUC to monitor transmission

formal binding contracts.

capacity and plan for growth.

OUC Instrumental in Creating Power-Brokering Software Programs A leader in the region since interconnecting

Going live in February 1979, it ran at 20 minutes

with other utilities in 1960, OUC was involved

before the hour, giving utilities a 40-minute

in a joint study with FCG to look at developing

window to input quotes. The program would

a power-brokering system that would allow

print out a schedule for the next hour, matching

utilities to make decisions on buying and

the needs of the utilities to the available

selling power based on an hourly market. Prior

generation. Washburn said the new system

to the study, all transactions were conducted

met with great response, and Florida utilities

over the phone between utilities, and there

saw an annual savings that ranged from

was no centralized information or level playing

$20 million to $40 million.

field. An FCG study found that conducting

The power-brokering system was used until

more transactions in the State of Florida on

the 1990s when, in the face of deregulation,

an hourly basis would benefit the state.

the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FCG and OUC's Tom Washburn developed

(FERC) mandated that all utilities use the

and implemented a new software system to

centralized Open Access Same-Time

enable hourly transactions. Called General

Information System (OASIS), an Internet-

Electric Time Sharing, the program utilized

based system for obtaining services related to

a server in Bethesda, Maryland, that was

electric power transmission in North America.

connected to each of the Florida utilities.

Page 26

OUC’s Tom Washburn (left) developed and implemented a software system to enable hourly power-brokering transactions.


At OUC’s Lake Highland Water Treatment Plant, an operator could control water supply for more than 200,000 people in the Greater Orlando area from one console.

OUC Centralizes Water Operation Monitoring and Control In 1974, a new computer-based control center was placed into operation at the Lake Highland Plant. Using the latest computer technology, OUC continued to monitor and control all water plants from this one centralized location. Featuring a console with monitors, the new center enabled a single operator to view the operational status of all OUC plants

and elevated tanks, as well as switches to turn pumps and equipment on and off. New software facilitated monitoring and control functionality, and collected and stored historical data that could be used to prepare reports and analyze the operation of the system. The control center was staffed with an operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

balancing act Page 27

As the demand for new water and electric production increased, so did the need for funds to finance these projects. In the early ‘70s, OUC began to evaluate its financial operations from cash flow management and rate making to how it financed investments in infrastructure.

With the help of an accounting firm, an electric and water rate-making system was established that allowed OUC to strike a balance between financing growth and providing affordable rates. As an outgrowth of these activities, OUC began using corporate financial modeling to forecast long-range

Page 28

capital needs and study the impact of major system expansion on rates. The utility also began to enlist financial experts to assist the organization in obtaining the lowest possible interest rates on new bond issues and refinancing older bonds.



The Naval Training Center was OUC’s largest customer in 1980.

Energy Crisis Fuels Need for Fuel Diversity; Nuclear Energy and Coal Enter the Mix From an energy and economic

becoming co-owners with the City of Lakeland

standpoint, the 1970s were in perpetual

on the McIntosh Unit 3 Power Plant, a coal-fired

crisis. In October of 1973 — as a result of

generating station. It was the first time in the history

the Yom Kippur war that had begun earlier

of Florida that non-contiguous electric systems

in the month — the Organization of the

jointly owned generation. And, it was an important

Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared an

milestone because it enabled two smaller systems

embargo on oil exports to the United States.

to obtain economies of scale and increased plant

The embargo swiftly was followed by a steep hike in oil prices and was accompanied by a decision to cut production. By 1974, the price of oil had

efficiency that would not have been possible with either system acting alone. The joint venture required OUC to build a

quadrupled. Those events, coupled with mounting

transmission line from Orlando to Lakeland —

instability in the Middle East, prompted the U.S. to

not only allowing the two entities to partner, but

take a number of initiatives to reduce dependence

also providing access to Tampa Electric’s Lakeland-

on foreign oil.

to-Tampa transmission lines, thus opening up that

In Orlando, the fuel crunch prompted OUC

route for power sales. The McIntosh plant would

to turn off building lights at night and the City to

come online in 1981, providing OUC with 134 MW

cancel Christmas lighting. The energy crisis also

of coal-fired generation.

brought about large increases in the cost of fuel oil and gas for OUC’s plants. It became increasingly clear that, going forward, the utility should do everything possible to obtain diversity in its fuel

OUC Invests in Nuclear Generation

supply by moving to nuclear and coal, which would

To further diversify its fuel mix, in 1977, OUC

provide fuel flexibility and enable OUC to use the

bought a 1.6 percent interest in its first nuclear

most economical source of fuel at any given time.

project: the Crystal River 3 Nuclear Plant. Three

With that in mind, negotiations began with

years later, the utility agreed to buy a 6 percent

Florida Power Corp. and Florida Power & Light

interest in the St. Lucie 2 nuclear generating

Co. (FPL) for small ownership interest in nuclear

plant being built by FPL. OUC received about

plants that were under construction.

48 MW from the plant, which would come online

In 1977, OUC made its first foray into coal by


n 1979, Orange County Circuit Judge William C. Gridley ruled that OUC’s rates are “fair and conscientious and openly set.” The ruling was in response to a class action suit by Rosalind Holding Co. alleging that the Commission had overcharged customers since 1970. An appeals court upheld the 1979 ruling on the Rosalind Case and fairness of OUC’s rates.

in 1983.

Charles J. Hawkins became the first black President of the OUC Board. According to the June 8, 1980 issue of Florida Magazine, he is believed to be the first AfricanAmerican in the U.S. to become head of a major utilities commission.

balancing act

Grace Lindblom was elected as the first female OUC Board President in 1981, becoming the first woman to head a utility in the state. Page 29

a balancing act Expanding OUC’s Water System through Acquisition The most significant change to the OUC water

Bay Hill, a prominent residential development

operations that occurred during the 1980s was

surrounding Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Golf

the purchase of five developer-built water system

Club, and Orange Tree, a residential/golf

plants from Orange County in 1980 and the

course community, were two of the premier

acquisition of the Dr. Phillips water system in

developments in the Dr. Phillips area

1983. Through the Dr. Phillips purchase, OUC

acquired by OUC.

added 12 square miles of new service territory

“Orlando Utilities Commission has a long

along with an established customer base and

and enviable record of good management and

existing water system infrastructure. The Dr.

outstanding service to its customers at

Phillips water system was owned and operated

reasonable rates. We are confident that the

by Dr. Phillips Utilities, a private company formed

Dr. Phillips community will be assured of the

to provide water and wastewater service to an

proper attention to their needs by the Orlando

area in southwest Orange County that started to

Utilities Commission,” said H.E. Johnson,

be developed in the early 1960s, as citrus groves

president of the Howard Phillips Fund, owner

gave way to residential homes and shopping

of all the utilities’ stock (The Times [Winter

centers. The Dr. Phillips name was linked to the

Garden], March 10, 1983).

area in recognition of a man who was a pioneer

As OUC expanded its water system,

in the Central Florida citrus industry and grew

it also had to contend with severe water

citrus on the land before it was sold to developers.

shortages that plagued the region. Orange

The newly acquired area was bordered on

County invoked a 15 percent voluntary water

the west by the Butler Chain of Lakes, on the

restriction, and the St. Johns River Water

east by Turkey Lake Road, on the north by

Management District also imposed mandatory

Conroy-Windermere Road, and on the south

water restrictions in Osceola, Volusia, Seminole,

by a westerly extension of State Road 528.

Brevard and Indian River counties.

OUC Wins Coveted Water Award In 1984, OUC won the first of many “Outstanding Water Treatment Plant Awards” from the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The award applied to all nine treatment plants. AWWA cited the OUC system for high water quality standards that exceed state and federal standards and leadership in planning, introducing and implementing new treatment and operations techniques.

Page 30

1970–1989 OUC Develops Programs to Encourage Customer Conservation As a result of the energy crisis and drought of the previous decade, conservation played a prominent role in the 1980s. To help reduce

As a result of the new structure, high energy users were charged a higher rate. In 1984, OUC began its Home Energy Audit

Florida’s dependency on foreign oil, the state

program — and it was a resounding success.

ordered utilities to conduct programs to

On the first day, more than 300 customers

lower power consumption. In response, OUC

swamped OUC with requests for audits

developed numerous conservation initiatives,

(Orlando Sentinel, May 3, 1984). In addition to

which served as the foundation of OUC’s

waiving the usual $15 fee, the program paid

energy and water conservation efforts. Most

$5 to customers who had audits. OUC also

have been expanded over the years and are

gave participants a one-time $10 credit for

still in place today.

buying energy-efficient appliances and a free

During this period, OUC revamped its rate structure for energy use to encourage

water-heater jacket, which saved them about $2 a month off their electric bill.

conservation as part of a state-mandated plan.

In 1985, OUC introduced a Low Income

Prior to this time, high energy users received

Home Energy Fix-up Program for homeowners

a discounted rate because it cost OUC less

who could not afford to make the minor repairs

to generate large amounts of electricity.

and improvements needed to save energy.

Harry Luff: “Architect of OUC Financial Systems” General Manager (1983–1986)


arry Luff had a distinguished 40-year career at Orlando Utilities Commission. With an engineering degree from Brown University, Luff began his tenure at OUC in 1946 at the bottom — chipping slag off the boilers. He worked numerous positions in the plant where his familiarity with the operation of complex steam power plants and his ability to effectively analyze problems caused management to take notice. His attention to detail and ability to develop systems, processes and programs to solve problems catapulted him through the ranks — first as head of the electric operations department, then as Assistant

General Manager in 1967 and finally as General Manager in 1983. However, it was Luff’s financial acumen that enabled OUC to fund rapid expansion and investment in new technology. Curt Stanton remembers meeting Luff: “First time I ever saw him, he was crawling out of the boiler with an old sailor hat on, and I tell you he looked like . . . he was just covered with coal.“ Stanton soon learned that Luff’s willingness to roll up his sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty details would become a tremendous asset to OUC.

“In July 1967, Curt Stanton asked me to be his assistant general manager,” Luff recalled. “I wasn’t sure what my duties would be, but Curt assured me he had a lot of special assignments in mind. As it turned out, there were more assignments than I could handle alone. I assembled a strong team that developed the first cashflow diagrams ever used at OUC and a new depreciation system. We established formulas for fair payments to the City and County, as well as an electric and water ratemaking system. As an outgrowth of

Page 31

these activities, we established a basis for using corporate financial modeling for long-range financial planning to study the impact of major system expansion on rates. Curt assigned us to work with bond issues and underwriters handling the finances for major plant additions. We found out the real issues that impact rates. It was a shock for a past plant engineer who thought that plant efficiency was everything in holding down rates to find out how many millions of dollars could be saved through sharp management of financing. In a highly capital-intensive business like electric utilities, the amount that can be saved is awesome.”

a balancing act

Advancements in Technology from the Meter to the Desktop

Hand-held mini-computers used by meter readers were placed in a console where data was downloaded to PCs and then into the mainframe for billing.

t er s e M g in d a e w R T hen and No

der Meter Rea red its first o n o h C U ing team In 1985, O meter read e th r, a e y t nd r. Tha n electric a of the Yea of 2.6 millio l ta to a d o a te b oks manually re all into rou m e th g in g rs, log ing system water mete meter read ic n o tr c le ne ployees by hand. A nabling em e , 7 8 9 1 mented in puters) to was imple (microcom s e ic v e d t. dheld on the spo to use han eck usage h -c le b u o d ss was able record and ys to proce a d e k ta the used to sferred to Data that ur and tran o h n a in ed a result, to be load xt day. As e n e th g for billin read more mainframe be able to ld u o w r e t r read 9.9 percen each mete hieving a 9 c a — th n o sharply meters a m dings and a re t rs fi n uracy o rate of acc -reads. reducing re

PCs Bring Information to the Desktop Change swept through every aspect of OUC

record research efficiency in Customer

during the late ‘80s as it initiated measures to

Accounting and sped up the estimating

keep up with advancements in technology and

process for engineering staff.

the economy while staying ahead of growth.

The impact of PCs became even more

From 1985 to 1988, the number of personal

profound when, in January 1988, a new

computers (PCs) at OUC grew from eight to

4381 IBM mainframe computer was installed and

135. Local area networks (LANs) were installed

connected to the LANs. Data communications

to link groups of PC users, giving them easier

capabilities emanating from the mainframe

access to more information and letting them

were also expanded to outlying facilities via

share expensive equipment.

OUC’s existing microwave/fiber optics

By expanding employees’ capabilities, networked PCs impacted every facet of OUC.

communications networks. These developments vastly accelerated

Purchasing and Materials Management was

the progress toward an integrated office

able to convert from a manual system to a

information system. As a result of the rapid

completely automated one. Computer Aided

deployment of computers, the Micro-

Design programs sharply reduced time

Computer Support Department was formed

needed to prepare drawings of complex

to help manage the new computer network

underground and water installations.

and the flow of information.

Microcomputer capabilities increased

For OUC, 1987 kicked off an information era with the deployment of personal computers on

a balancing act

desktops. Two years later, the Micro-Computer Support Department was formed to help employees

manage their information technology needs. Page 32

1970–1989 OUC and Orange Looking to the “Futures” County Enter into Water Ahead of the curve, OUC looked not only at what type of fuel it was buying, but also Territorial Agreement how the fuel was purchased. In 1986, OUC On February 13, 1985, OUC and Orange County entered into a territorial agreement (Agreement W-85-2), which established separate water service territories for each utility. Its stated purpose was to avoid duplication of water service facilities, as well as to eliminate needless and wasteful expenditures of capital and water resources. Under the terms of the agreement, a boundary was established to define and separate the OUC water service area from that of Orange County Utilities. The agreement also provided that the boundary could be adjusted in the future with the mutual consent of both parties. The territorial agreement made it easier for both utilities not only to plan for growth, but also to expand their systems to serve the rapidly increasing number of new residential and commercial developments that were being built in the county at the time.

became one of the only utilities in the United States to use energy futures to help manage the risk of price volatility in fuel markets. This innovative strategy of hedging oil and gas prices enabled OUC to keep fuel costs in check.

Making Water “Better Than It Has to Be”

The Charter and OUC

Water Act more than tripled OUC’s reporting

In 1986, the Florida Legislature unanimously

requirements for water quality analyses. As a

In 1986, amendments to the Safe Drinking

approved significant revisions to the OUC charter.

result, Water Operations installed a $200,000 mass

Specific language was added to more clearly

spectrometer in the Water Quality Lab to conduct

define the Commission’s authority to issue

all of the new tests required by law.

revenue bonds to finance or refinance debt.

Although OUC’s own chemical and biological

The makeup of the Commission also was altered

testing — as well as that of private and

to ensure that at least one member of the board

government labs — confirmed that the utility’s

was an OUC customer living outside the City of

water was much higher in quality than both federal

Orlando in the unincorporated area of Orange

and state laws required, Water Operations made

County served by OUC.

a “quality decision” to surpass its own high treatment standards to ensure that OUC’s water continues to be “better than it has to be.”

Ted Pope: “Public Servant and Utility Advocate” General Manager (1986 –1992)


lthough OUC conducted a nationwide search in 1984 for a new assistant general manager, they found their candidate right in their own backyard: Sanford native Theodore “Ted” Pope. A University of Florida graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Master of Business Administration, Pope had joined OUC in 1959 as part of the Indian River Plant (IRP) start-up team. By 1970, he became assistant manager of electric operations at IRP. Two years later, he was named

manager of water operations. Having served with distinction in key management positions in both facets of OUC’s business, Pope’s background made him uniquely qualified to take over the utility’s top spot as General Manager in 1986. Known as an innovator, Pope was also a facilitator of change at OUC — streamlining, modernizing and improving operations and service.

Committed to public power, he strongly supported forming coalitions with other municipal utilities so that they all remained viable, competitive alternatives to investor-owned utilities. Throughout his career, Pope earned many state and national honors for OUC from the electric and water industries. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) awarded him its highest honors for his leadership role in transforming

Page 33

the AWWA’s research foundation from a $60,000-a-year agency to a $4 million-a-year center of applied research. Featured in Who’s Who in Frontiers of Science and Technology, Pope authored and presented many papers pertaining to both the electric and water utility industries. He also invented a new water purification process that was patented and used by OUC to remove hydrogen sulfide. In 1990, AWWA recognized Pope with its Distinguished Public Service Award.

The Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center: The Best Available Environmental Control Technology at the Time of Construction The process to build the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center (SEC) began in 1980 when OUC completed a plant site selection study and decided to proceed with certification of construction for a 436-MW pulverized coal power plant at the 3,280-acre site, 12 miles southeast of Orlando in rural east Orange County. The site was licensed for a total capacity of 2,000 MW. The plant was powered by a steam turbine generator from Westinghouse Electric Corporation. In 1981, the Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the $516 million coal-burning power plant proposed by OUC. As part of the permit, OUC committed that two-thirds of the site would be dedicated as a natural preserve for the protection of the red-cockaded woodpecker, at the time an endangered species. “I’m just delighted,” said then Orlando Mayor Bill Frederick. “It’s a very important decision for the City and one that we anxiously awaited. It means a lot to the ratepayers of the City.” (Orlando Sentinel, August 15, 1981).

On May 12, 1987 at 2:14:56 p.m., Assistant General Manager Lou Stone — who had been present at the birth of every new OUC power plant since 1949 — flipped the switch at the Stanton Energy Center to begin initial synchronization that allowed SEC to produce power for the first time. The Saturday before the startup, retired General Manager Curt Stanton was on hand to “roll the turbine.” SEC went commercial on July 1, 1987 — on schedule and under budget.

Providing Power from Orlando to Key West SEC was a joint venture among OUC (68.6 percent), Kissimmee Utility Authority (4.8 percent) and the Florida Municipal Power Agency (26.6 percent). The FMPA included Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Starke, Lake Worth, Homestead, Leesburg, Ocala, Bushnell, Jacksonville Beach, Green Cove Springs and Key West. Construction of the plant reduced OUC’s oil consumption by about 3.8 million barrels a year, an initial savings projected at $10 million. SEC Unit 1 was equipped with electrostatic precipitators and limestone scrubbers for air quality control.

Partnering with Orange County A nearby Orange County Wastewater Treatment facility provided the water necessary for plant cooling and enabled Stanton to be a “zero discharge” facility. This innovative process for using sewage effluent in the natural draft cooling towers

a balancing act Page 34

1970–1989 Ken Ksionek (left), Director of SEC Construction, and Gerald Hardage, Managing Director of the Stanton Energy Center project.

benefitted both OUC and Orange County.

claimed that OUC was trying to slip

Up until then, the disposition of sewage

ecologically disastrous design changes past

effluent was a costly environmental problem

the Florida Department of Environmental

for Orange County, and the use of sewage

Regulation and plant opponents. In addition,

effluent by Stanton was an important part

cities along the most “practical route” for

of the solution. In addition, the Orange

trains hauling coal to Stanton (DeLand,

County landfill next door to the plant had

Sanford, Longwood, Altamonte Springs,

the potential for utilizing landfill gas or

Maitland and Winter Park) sent telegrams

refuse for future power generation purposes.

and passed resolutions protesting the

Innovative M/WBE Participation Program The project also was notable at the time for its considerable participation of Minority/

trains coming through their towns. Officials said they were worried about coal dust and traffic jams (Orlando Sentinel, December 12, 1982). But the protests were silenced in 1984,

Woman-Owned Business Enterprises that

as Orlando voters showed strong support for

doubled the rate of any similar construction

the coal-fired power plant, overwhelmingly

project in Florida. The record participation

rejecting (13,838 to

was the result of meeting an aggressive

7,557) a court-ordered

minority hiring policy that had been

referendum that

established when the project began.

opponents claimed

Through a Minority Participation Board

could have stopped

and the addition of a minority employment

the project. In what

coordinator, special recruitment and skills

was referred to as the “Vote No to Vote Yes”

training courses were established — the first of their kind in Florida.

Overcoming Consumer Concerns

campaign, the wording on the ballot required a “no” vote to indicate support for the plant.

Of course, the proposed power plant was not without its detractors. In March 1982, the Sierra Club, an environmental group,

Page 35

a balancing act Managing OUC’s Most Valuable Resource: Employees The ‘80s brought changes in the way OUC

community it served. This effort to attract, retain and

handled human resources. A Benefits Division was

promote a diverse group of talented employees

created to deal with escalating benefits expenses

helped OUC further strengthen its role as a

and implement cost containment measures like

community leader. Later, OUC would extend this

the Preferred Provider Organization program. In

diversification effort to include Minority/Women-

addition, OUC’s Risk Management Division instituted

Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) vendors.

a self-insurance program to cover Workers’

OUC also continued to provide comprehensive

Compensation, General Liability and Automobile

training and safety programs for employees —

Liability to hold down these insurance costs.

in the classroom and in the field — to ensure that

At the same time, OUC embarked on a mission to diversify its workforce to better reflect the

they had the proper skills and training to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

The Power of Municipalities Pooling Their Resources Already a pacesetter in joint action, OUC set

On July 1, 1988, the Florida Municipal Power

another new precedent in 1986 when it began

Pool (FMPP) began operation as the state’s first

selling wholesale electric power and provided

fully integrated municipal electric power pool.

total dispatching services to the Florida Municipal

OUC continues to operate what is now called the

Power Agency (FMPA) for five members including

FMPP Energy Control Center and Florida Energy

Leesburg, Jacksonville Beach, Ocala, Green Cove

Marketing (FEM) and is responsible for the

Springs and Bushnell. This made OUC the first in

dispatching of the pool's generating resources

the state, and possibly the nation, to provide total

in the most economical manner. Over the course

dispatching services to other electric utilities that

of its 22-year existence, the pool has saved

were completely non-contiguous, both electrically

participating municipalities millions of dollars

and geographically.

in energy costs.

Lou Stone: “Father of Reliability Measurement”


Rollins College graduate with a degree in Chemistry, Lou Stone joined Orlando Utilities Commission in 1949 and retired in 1989. During his 40 years at OUC, he rose from a water laboratory chemist to the role of assistant general manager. Dubbed OUC’s “dean of electric generation,” Stone served as head of electric operations from 1967 to 1986 and is known as an expert in power plant operations and electric reliability measurement. Stone’s passion for reliability started early in his career, at a time when OUC’s only source of power was the old 18-MW

Assistant General Manager (1986–1989)

Lake Ivanhoe Plant. Hired as part of the group that would bring the new Lake Highland Plant online, Stone developed a system to train operators to effectively start up a “dark plant.” He went on to become the first Superintendent of the Indian River Plant. When it came time to design the Stanton Energy Center (SEC), Stone was named head of electric operations — and he committed to making SEC the cleanest, most reliable coal-fired power plant in the country.

“The legacy of which I am probably the proudest is the one in which I was the architect and creator of the use of reliability in customer service,” Stone said. When Stone took over OUC’s electric operations, he realized that there was no standardized method of measuring customer reliability. Every power system calculated it differently — from counting the number of service calls . . . to feeder outages . . . to storm-caused outages. All of these determined only how a utility compared to its own previous

Page 36

performance — not how it stacked up against other utilities. “I began an extensive study for creating a methodology that could be utilized by any utility,” Stone said. “Ultimately, I formulated such a mathematical model. Through OUC’s participation in the FCG (Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group), our representatives were able to start reporting reliability using the methodology I developed. It was adopted by the Florida Public Service Commission with only minor alterations.”

1970–1989 The dancing lights and waters of the fountain in Lake Eola became a symbol of Orlando’s renaissance in the 1980s. Originally gifted to the City by OUC, the fountain was out of operation for a decade, but came to life again in 1988, thanks to OUC and its maintenance division.

Record Cold Prompts OUC to Begin Plans for a Second SEC Unit Three days of sub-freezing temperatures

Nonetheless, the record-breaking cold

during December 1989 sent shivers down the

snap and the havoc it wreaked across the state

spines of many Floridians. Much of the state

prompted forward-thinking OUC to plan for

reeled under the effect of rolling blackouts and

the future and move ahead with building a

outages. OUC, however, weathered one of

second coal-fired unit at Stanton Energy

the biggest chills of the century with remarkably

Center. The unit was expected to cost

few hitches. During this frigid test of reliability,

$515 million and begin operation in 1996.

86 percent of OUC’s customers never

The goal was to replicate the first plant,

experienced any service interruptions.

which was considered one of the cleanest coal-burning plants in the nation.

Enclosed Substation Downtown Built in 1987, the Robinson Electrical Substation was OUC’s “urban solution to growth.” To keep up with the phenomenal building boom that occurred in the ‘80s, OUC constructed a high-capacity, three-story, gas-insulated substation. The substation utilized a small footprint with the majority of the equipment enclosed in an architecturally designed building — a first for Central Florida and only the second of its kind in the state.

Taking n Conservatio into the Classroom

For decades, OUC has offered a wide range

of programs designed to help customers of all ages use energy and water safely and wisely. During the 1980s, as part of its Educational Outreach Program, the utility took electric,

water and safety classroom presentations to as many as 5,000 students a year in Orange

County Public Schools. At left, OUC’s Joanne

(Wheeler) Silva and puppet “OUCH the Outlet” teamed up to teach youngsters at Richmond Heights Elementary about conservation.

Page 37

ups an� �owns






• OUC adds its largest customer, which later became Universal Orlando® Resort. • PROUD Community Volunteer program launches. • Sky Lake Water Plant opens.


Original Lake

• Stanton Energy Center

Ivanhoe Plant

Unit 2 comes online.

reborn as the Dr. Phillips

• Gold Ring Home

Performing Arts Center.

program begins.



• OUC and

St. Cloud enter 25-year


OUC receives “Outstanding Distribution Award and Water Conservation Award for Excellence” from AWWA.

Universal Studios® Florida,




receives AWWA Award for best drinking water. • SEC A goes commercial.



Central Florida.

“The Greenest

• OUC gets 20-year

Building in Downtown

Consumptive Use Permit.

Orlando,” opens.

• Three hurricanes hit

Reliable Plaza,


• OUC celebrates

Interlocal Agreement.

75th anniversary.

OUC and Orange County flip the

• Southwest Water Plant opens.

• OUC becomes

switch on a 1-MW solar array at

• OUC begins construction

The Reliable One.

Orange County Convention Center.

on first

• OUC begins burning


methane gas from Orange

water plant.

County landfill.


Indian River steam units sold.


• SEC B comes


online in

OUConvenient Lighting


and OUConsumption

• POWER and


Green Neighborhood programs begin.

ups an� �owns Page 38


IN 1990


T H R O U G H E V E R – C H A N G I N G T I M E S , O U C R E M A I N S “ T H E R E L I A B L E O N E ” rom 1990 to 2010, the economy experienced a period of ups

In 1990, OUC added its largest customer, Universal Studios® Florida,

and downs and twists and turns that rivaled the roller coasters

which later became Universal Orlando® Resort. Over the next two decades,

OUC would power. Central Florida was particularly affected —

to support a booming population and diversify its portfolio, the utility would

and the turbulence made forecasting and planning a challenge, to say the

add more than 1,000 MW of generation. To meet the needs of OUC’s

least. High points — including the opening of Universal Studios® Florida, and

expanding customer base, two operations facilities — the Pershing and

a boom in residential and commercial construction — were followed by

Gardenia Centers — were opened along with Reliable Plaza, a new customer

precipitous lows: back-to-back-to-back hurricanes, terrorist attacks on our

service and administration building. OUC also focused on the region’s water

nation, the bursting of the real-estate bubble and severe

needs with Water Project 2000, which was designed to

economic recession. But, through it all, one thing was

upgrade and expand potable water systems by treating

certain: OUC’s strong financial foundation and steady

drinking water with ozone. By the turn of the century,

hand allowed the utility to live up to its name.

OUC had taken proactive steps to prepare for

Although economic conditions at home and the Persian

competition, launching new profit centers such as

Gulf crisis abroad clouded the dawn of the 1990s, long-term

OUCooling and OUConvenient Lighting.

projections for Metro Orlando remained bright with the promise of continued

In 1998, the utility celebrated its 75th anniversary — formalizing a

growth. The region was often in the national spotlight, cited by numerous

commitment to provide the highest level of service to customers by making

publications for having an excellent climate for business. As the decade

reliability part of its name. Orlando Utilities Commission became OUC —

progressed and the economy rebounded, advances in telecommunications

The Reliable One. That mantra has become a compass that not only guides

and computer networking marked the advent of the “dot.com” era —

operational decisions, but also reinforces OUC’s pledge to keep the power

and deregulation of the utility industry loomed.

on and the water flowing . . . even in the face of Mother Nature’s most severe threats.

Page 39

ups an� �owns Keeping It Clean In 1990, the last major changes to the Clean Air

(e.g., performance-based standards and emissions

Act of 1970 were enacted — targeting urban air

trading) to address environmental problems.

pollution problems such as acid rain, smog, carbon

OUC met the new requirements with ease:

monoxide and particulate matter. The amendments

Its power plants were already operating at levels

encouraged, for the first time, the use of market-

significantly lower than the limits in the Clean Air

based principles and other innovative approaches

Act Amendments.

Sky Lake Water Plant Comes Online In 1990, the Sky Lake Water Plant, OUC’s 10th

carbon/chlorine process instead of aeration to

water treatment plant, became operational to

enhance taste and eliminate odor. The process was

provide water to the southern part of the service

developed by OUC’s Ted Pope and Dick Dunham.

territory. Rated at 24 MGD, Sky Lake was the

Sky Lake came online just as Water Operations

second OUC plant to use the utility’s patented

surpassed the 100,000 active meters mark.

OUC’s Sky Lake Water Plant.

OUC Expands Transmission and Distribution System In 1991, OUC completed the most extensive five-year program in its history to improve and expand its transmission and distribution (T&D) system — adding nearly $200 million in new or upgraded T&D facilities and equipment. In that time, the utility increased its primary circuit miles 27 percent to 1,246 miles and grew its capacity 23 percent to 1.8 million kV. But those statistics tell only half the story. They do not reflect the magnitude of the ongoing process of upgrading or replacing older infrastructure, modernizing or relocating equipment because of street and highway projects, and streetscaping projects that required undergrounding power lines, as well as enhancing and improving overhead systems. In 1991 alone, OUC upgraded underground systems in 10 older subdivisions to improve reliability. Ten new distribution feeder circuits were installed, the highest number in one year in OUC history. The system would eventually be expanded to include 29 substations, 338 circuit miles of transmission and 1,884 circuit miles of distribution, more than 60 percent of which is underground.

Page 40

Launched in 1990, “Yagottawannadoit” — symbolized by mascot O.U. Toucan — was the theme of OUC’s employee incentive program, which was designed to improve productivity, teamwork and problem solving.

A Technology Tsunami The tidal wave of technology advancements that

the existing mainframe system first installed in the

characterized the 1990s swept through OUC, too,

1960s. During this period, the utility developed a new

as the utility “tooled up for tomorrow.”

Customer Information Reporting and Tracking System

To run the electric and

(CIMART) to meet billing

water systems reliably, safely

needs for 225,000 customer

and efficiently, OUC used its

accounts. OUC also provided

own microwave Information

certain billing services for the

Highway, touching almost

city, county and state that

every facet of its operations —

would benefit from the new

people, plants, power lines,

system. CIMART provided

pipelines, substations, mobile radios, phones, faxes,

OUC replaced its mainframe with a new computer that was slightly larger than a desktop PC.

computers, machines and remote terminal units. OUC began “right-sizing” computer operations, developing PC-based systems and software to replace

Troy Todd: “Champion of Community Outreach” General Manager (1992–1994)

summary billing, direct debits and remote meter reading.

A similar program called Project Estimating and Scheduling (PETS) was utilized for capital improvement and construction projects.

PROUD to Serve To encourage employees to “pay their civic dues,” OUC launched its PROUD Community Volunteer program in 1990. In addition to recognizing employees for volunteer efforts, the program provided $2 for every hour donated to an eligible non-profit organization up to $200. More than $2,000 was donated to community organizations. In just two years after the program began, employee participation in volunteer activities doubled.

Page 41

Troy Todd, a graduate of Virginia Polytechnical Institute, came to OUC from United Telephone (Sprint) where he was the CEO and former Vice President of Human Resources. A champion of “giving back,” Todd increased OUC’s involvement in the community. Under his leadership, OUC created the Community Relations area and organized employee “Community Crews” volunteer involvement efforts. Todd was passionate about transparency. During his tenure, OUC enhanced internal audit policies and instituted stricter ethics and purchasing policies to improve accountability and transparency. General Manager Bob Haven said of his predecessor, “Troy Todd will be remembered and appreciated for his leadership in launching initiatives that helped OUC remain competitive and in helping defeat an attempt to freeze municipal electric utilities’ service territories.”

ups an� �owns

OUC’s bulk sales and interchange activities escalated dramatically in the ‘80s and so did the role of its sophisticated load dispatch/energy control center, located at the Pershing Operations Center.

OUC Opens Pershing and Gardenia Operations Centers In 1992, OUC opened the Pershing Operations Center to serve the east part of town. Its counterpart on the west side, the

and water systems, all 24-hour operations

Gardenia Center, opened one year later.

except at power plants, fleet service facilities

Both facilities were built to replace the small,

and the utility’s third customer service center

antiquated water and electric operations/

(including drive-through lanes).

maintenance facilities located on the north

The 22-acre Gardenia Operations Center

side of Lake Highland. Costing a combined

was completed in the fall of 1993 and

$37 million, they were constructed to meet

housed OUC’s Water Quality Lab, internal

OUC’s space needs for up to 20 years.

audit, warehouse, fleet, water distribution,

The 48-acre Pershing complex contained OUC’s computer “nerve centers” for electric

revenue protection, water and meter testing, and security.

Gardenia Operations Center.

Combustion Turbines Added to Indian River Plant In November 1992, OUC added a pair of combustion turbine units at the Indian River Plant (IRP). With three steam generating units and two small 35-MW combustion turbine units in place since 1989, IRP represented 57 percent of OUC’s total generating capacity. All IRP units operated on either oil or natural gas, a flexibility that enabled the utility to take advantage of market conditions and buy fuel cheaper than other utilities. IRP was also valuable to OUC as a source of substantial revenue from bulk power sales.

Charged up about using energy wisely and reducing harmful auto emissions, OUC tested its first electric-powered vehicles in 1993 — taking its conservation program “on the road” in a minivan outfitted with rooftop solar panels.

Page 42

1990–2010 PUTTING RELIABILITY TO THE TEST Helping Victims of Hurricane Andrew. During

Saturday, March 13, the “Storm

the 1990s, Mother Nature was on the warpath. In the

of the Century” brought 18

summer of 1992, Hurricane Andrew — one of the

hours of near-hurricane strength

deadliest, costliest and most devastating storms in

gusts, causing outages as fast

U.S. history — ravaged South

as OUC employees restored

Florida. In the face of that

service. Nearly 30,000

emergency, OUC and its

customers lost power, but by

employees responded quickly.

midday Sunday, service was fully restored.

Within two days, volunteers

Swift Response to Erin’s Fury. In the early morning

had filled 10,000 one-gallon

hours of August 2, 1995, Hurricane Erin roared through

bottles of pure OUC water

Florida, creating a level of service interruption that

and sent them to the disaster

eclipsed both the Christmas freeze of 1989 and the 1993

area. A week later, nearly

“Storm of the Century.” While no damage was done to

60 linemen, engineers and

any OUC generation or transmission facilities, Erin’s

other workers were

90-mph winds knocked out power to 37 main distribution

dispatched south to help the City of Homestead

feeders — and 52,500 OUC customers experienced

rebuild its electric system.

some interruption in service in the wake of the storm.

The Storm of the Century. In March 1993, a rare, severe wind storm struck much of Florida. Blasting

Erin’s impact was greater than the total average outage time experienced in the previous four years.

Orlando with 62-mile-per-hour winds at 12:30 a.m.,

Fueling Growth: OUC Expands Service Area to Include Lake Nona In 1994 and 1995, OUC expanded its water

by about 20 square miles. Initially, the impact was

such as those in Lake Nona, to the community.

and electric service area to include the new

small — adding just 73 new water customers and

Then Orlando Mayor Glenda E. Hood said,

Lake Nona community. The area located

287 electric customers. However, the potential

“As Orlando continues to compete both

southeast of the Orlando International Airport

was tremendous, and the gamble wound up paying

domestically and internationally for business,

was slated to become a major center for

off. As a result of the agreement, OUC gained a

a strong, financially sound and well-positioned

economic development in the region.

community that would become home to a Medical

utility is vital for economic development. You

In 1994, OUC and Orange County signed a new

City housing the University of Central Florida

cannot have growth without a utility that can

25-year territorial agreement for a 30-square-mile

Medical School, Burnham Institute, Veterans

provide reliable electricity, quality water and

area at Lake Nona. Then in 1995, OUC and Florida

Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital.

competitive rates to attract industry and

Power Corp. signed a new 10-year territorial agreement that expanded the electric service area

OUC’s reputation was critical to the City of Orlando’s ability to attract new businesses,

Page 43

encourage residential development.”

About 5,000 visitors came to SEC for the Unit 2

dedication. The three-day celebration included a public open house that drew 3,500; a train ride for nearly 100 civic and political leaders; a “power breakfast” for 300 civic, industry, and electric utility leaders; and a picnic for more than 1,000 employees and family members.

Stanton Energy Center Unit 2 Comes Online in 1996 The Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center Unit 2

began commercial operation on June 1, 1996,

on time and $62 million under the original budget of $522 million. At 425 MW, it was the first

pulverized coal unit of its size in the nation to use Selective Catalytic Reduction to remove nitrogen

oxide from the flue gas — meeting and exceeding all federal regulations for air quality.

Like the first unit, Stanton 2 was jointly owned.

As majority owner/operator, OUC retained 72 percent of Unit 2. The Florida Municipal

Power Agency owned 28 percent on behalf of the following cities: Bushnell, Clewiston, Fort Pierce, Green Cove Springs, Homestead,

Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Ocala, Leesburg, Starke, St. Cloud and Vero Beach.

A Safe Work Environment Employing about 5,600 people on site during

39 months of construction, Stanton 2 was one of the safest such construction projects in the

nation, earning the STAR award from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OUC's aggressive safety program saved about $10 million in insurance premiums.

A Commitment to Maximizing Participation and Diversity From the onset, the Stanton 2 Project Team

was committed to maximizing Central Florida

participation and ensuring a diverse workforce.

The team established a proactive multi-faceted M/

WBE outreach program with a full-time coordinator hired to run the program. The project achieved its objectives with approximately

70 percent of the craft workforce coming from the Central Florida region, and 30 percent minorities and women. In addition, 37 percent of the more than $60 million in subcontracts, supplies and permanent plant material was awarded to

minority and women-owned business enterprises. The M/WBE participation was accomplished

without goals but rather by proactive contractor commitments and by OUC hosting M/WBE forums during the bidding stages.

To leave a lasting legacy, a Community

Service Council comprising representatives from OUC, Black & Veatch and project contractors undertook a variety of volunteer community projects, including the renovation of an

American Red Cross Disaster Relief trailer and construction of a park for the Metropolitan Orlando Urban League.

Launching OUC — The Reliable One In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Orlando Utilities Commission officially made service reliability part of its name . . . becoming OUC — The Reliable One in 1998. During the branding process, the utility conducted extensive research to determine what was most important to its customers. When asked in focus groups what came to mind when they thought of OUC, the responses were consistent: OUC was the reliable utility. Many still remembered the Christmas freeze of 1989, when their electricity remained on, while other Central Florida electric utilities instituted rolling brownouts due to power supply shortages. More than 12 years later, the OUC brand remains strong — as does the promise to provide the highest level of reliability to customers.

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1990–2010 OUC’s Southwest Water Plant opened in 1997.

Water Project 2000 . . . Laying the Groundwork for Improved Quality For OUC’s Water Business Unit, Water Project 2000 was the story of the century. The most

a new Lake Highland plant, as well as the Southeast

Largely conceived by General Manager and CEO

and Southwest plants, and converted Conway,

Bob Haven, Water Project 2000 was the largest

comprehensive effort to expand and

Kirkman, Sky Lake and Pine Hills to ozone. The

capital program, in terms of scope and investment,

modernize the water system infra-

new operation converted the system to an ozone

ever undertaken by the Commission to replace and

structure in OUC’s history called for

water treatment process, which significantly

upgrade water infrastructure. The monies budgeted

closing five outdated water plants —

reduced the amount of chlorine used in treatment

for the endeavor totaled $164.3 million and required

Martin, Dr. Phillips, Kuhl, Primrose

and completely removed hydrogen sulfide —

five 10 percent water rate increases over a five-

and Lake Highland — in favor of

a harmless, naturally occurring compound that

year period. The entire program was aggressively

building three larger plants and

gives water an unpleasant taste and odor. The

scheduled to be completed in five years between

converting four existing plants

program also expanded and improved pipelines

1995 and 2000, which enabled all OUC water

to the ozone treatment process.

and modernized the computer control system so

customers to enjoy the benefits as soon as possible,

As part of the effort, OUC built

that all water plants could be operated remotely.

and at about the same time.

Delivering H2OUC to the Tap OUC’s first ozone treatment plant began

OUC branded H2OUC and launched a full-scale marketing campaign around it.

treatment, OUC took the technology to a new

operation in the spring of 1997, delivering a new

level. It was the first utility to master control of the

“product” called H2OUC — ozone-treated water

sophisticated ozone water treatment system from

that tasted as good or better than bottled water

a remote facility with no full-time staff at the plant.

but cost much less. The new $30 million Southwest

An innovative partnership with the Florida DEP and

plant had a capacity of 30 MGD and replaced two

installing a highly sophisticated computer-based

older, less reliable plants: Martin and Dr. Phillips.

control system as part of Water Project 2000 made

Although ozone had long been used for water

this possible.

Bob Haven: “Water Industry Visionary”


ob Haven came to OUC on July 1, 1994 and passed away while in office in 2004. He brought with him decades of water industry and city government experience. A graduate of George Washington University, Haven arrived in Orlando in August 1981 as Central Florida was experiencing tremendous growth. During his tenure at the City of Orlando, he undertook some of the City’s largest projects, first as Director of Public Works and then as Chief Administrative Officer. He was the leading force behind the Orlando Arena, a major renovation of the Citrus Bowl, Lake Eola improvements, the new City Hall, Conserv I and Conserv II, and other projects estimated to cost $1 billion. Haven was passionate about providing the highest quality water. At OUC, he spearheaded the most extensive water system upgrade in the

General Manager (1994–2004)

utility’s history. Water Project 2000 mapped out a plan to convert OUC’s water treatment to ozone, the strongest disinfectant available. The new water product was well received by customers and branded H2OUC — “great tasting water straight from the tap.” Haven maintained OUC’s commitment to electric reliability — and under his management, the utility branded itself “OUC — The Reliable One.” The tagline is still used today, reinforcing the commitment to providing customers with the highest level of reliability. Under Haven’s leadership, OUC’s electric reliability was recognized as the best in the Southeastern U.S. Dogged in his pursuit of adding new customer programs that met the needs of large commercial customers and developers, Haven led the creation of OUCooling, a chilled water business, and OUConvenient Lighting, a

Page 45

commercial lighting program. While he was at the helm, the utility also expanded its operation to include the City of St. Cloud in Osceola County, adding 150 square miles to OUC’s service territory. Haven passed away on February 29, 2004. Before his death, he led the efforts to negotiate a 20-year Consumptive Use Permit agreement among OUC, Orange County and the St. Johns and South Florida Water Management Districts. “Bob’s water-industry expertise and tireless commitment laid the foundation for this crucial step in regional cooperation,” said OUC Commission Board President Tommy Boroughs. “Bob would be very pleased.”

ups an� �owns In 2007, OUC and St. Cloud marked a decade-long relationship.

A New Power Partnership: OUC and the City of St. Cloud In a precedent-setting move, OUC entered

serve as the foundation for their partnership

into a 25-year Interlocal Agreement with its

moving forward:

neighbor, the City of St. Cloud, to manage,

eliability: OUC promised to make • R significant improvements in the reliability of electric service.

operate and maintain the City’s electric system. The agreement, which became effective May 1, 1997, was the first of its kind in the state. With vast tracts of undeveloped land, St. Cloud understood that it was on the threshold of tremendous growth — but that it would take an investment in infrastructure and competitive rates to realize that potential. With that in mind, St. Cloud looked to OUC, with its long record of outstanding service and affordable rates. The two entered a long-term agreement, identifying five areas that would

ates: OUC promised to lower the electric • R rates of St. Cloud customers. etention: OUC agreed to hire the St. Cloud • R utility employees. eturn: OUC agreed to provide regular • R payments to the City of St. Cloud based on revenue growth. epresentation: Both partners formed a • R contract committee to oversee the longterm agreement. Over the years, OUC kept its promises, continuing to provide clean, affordable, reliable power to St. Cloud and serving as a community partner to help make the City strong and prosperous.

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OUC’s Downtown Chiller Plant.

A new business venture that generated additional revenues, OUCooling brought its first


convention complexes. Under the agreement, OUC took over the Convention Center’s existing

central chiller plant online in 1997. The 6,600-ton-

chillers, linking them to the OUCooling plant at

capacity facility was built for Lockheed Martin’s

nearby Lockheed Martin and saving Orange

Electronics & Missiles Company and served

County about $10 million by avoiding expansion.

11 buildings on the 300-acre complex.

Initially, OUC teamed up with Trigen-Cinergy

In February of 1998, OUCooling began the

Solutions to create the chilled water business,

operation of its first downtown facility. The plant

but the partnership ended in 2004.

was the first step in the creation of a downtown

In 2009, thanks in part to OUC’s efforts, chilled

loop that would circulate chilled water through

OUCooling signed a 20-year contract to

water qualified for LEED (Leadership in Energy

underground pipes — eventually serving OUC’s

pump chilled water for the air conditioning

and Environmental Design) certification points.

administration building, City Hall, CNL Center,

at the Orange County Convention Center,

Lincoln Tower and the Amway Center.

one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing

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As of 2010, OUC had eight chiller plants, with a cooling capacity of about 50,000 tons.

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OUC Begins Generating Electricity from Landfill Gas On April 1, 1998, the Stanton Energy

the landfill and piped to SEC where it is

The gas from the landfill produces close

Center (SEC) began burning landfill gas

co-fired with coal. In addition to helping

to 100,000 megawatt hours of reduced-

from the Orange County landfill. One

reduce greenhouse gas emissions from

emissions power — offsetting about

of the largest and longest-running efforts

the landfill, the 12-MW green energy

44,000 tons of coal each year.

of its kind in the state, the OUC Landfill

program displaces more than three

Project is an economical renewable

percent of the fossil fuel required for

County have signed new agreements for

source of energy that is also reliable and

SEC Units 1 and 2, and provides enough

future landfill projects — expanding

sustainable. Methane gas is captured from

electricity every day for 10,000 homes.

capacity to 22 MW.

Page 48

Looking to the future, OUC and Orange

1990–2010 OUC Sells Indian River Plant Steam Units, Diversifying the Generation Portfolio Negotiating the sale of the Indian River

In response to feedback from commercial customers, OUConsumption Online was developed to satisfy the need for easy access to online energy load data.

looming in the future, OUC analyzed its

Plant steam units in 1999 signaled an

power generation facilities and other assets

important new direction for OUC. By selling

to determine how best to use them over

the steam units, but continuing to purchase

the short and long terms.

their power, the facility generated additional

OUC sold the Indian River steam units

cash to invest in newer, cleaner technology.

to Reliant Energy for $205 million in cash,

The transaction was the first in a series of

a four-year agreement to purchase power

strategic moves in an asset restructuring plan

from the facility and an additional four-year

that called for diversifying the utility’s power

power purchase option. OUC maintained

resource portfolio and investing in more

ownership of the four combustion turbines

modern facilities. With market deregulation

at the plant.

OUC CONVENIENT LIGHTING BEGINS OPERATION In the fall of 2000, OUC flipped the switch

for a monthly service fee. With OUC’s efficient

on OUConvenient Lighting, a new division

lighting solutions, customers could keep their

established to provide complete outdoor

electric and maintenance costs down.

lighting services for a wide spectrum of

As part of this new venture, the lighting

commercial applications —

division entered a 10-year

from industrial parks to

contract with the City of

sports complexes to

Orlando to provide

residential developments.

complete installation and

The division was a

maintenance of the Citrus

natural fit, pairing OUC’s

Bowl’s field lighting —

reputation for reliability with area businesses’

replacing the stadium’s old lights with higher

need to install and maintain street lights and

output, energy-efficient ones. The project

exterior lighting on their properties. Under

increased the facility’s brightness and

the program, OUC purchased, installed and

reduced energy costs, while using only half

maintained the lighting fixtures and lamps

as many fixtures.

Page 49

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OUC became the title sponsor of the OUC Half Marathon & 5K in downtown Orlando in 1999, a tradition that would continue for the next

decade. Putting its own twist on the race that

first started in 1976, OUC tapped fire hydrants to provide runners with refreshing H2OUC.

Part of the Downtown Skyline Over the decades, OUC has powered the

2005 as then-Governor Jeb Bush called for

constants in the City’s oft-changing skyline.

As OUC moved from the Administration

City of Orlando and provided one of the few

statewide conservation.

From 1968 until 2001, the four-sided lit

Building to its new home in Reliable Plaza

Building stood like a beacon at the south end

the old building, cleaned and renovated

Orlando Utilities sign atop the Administration of Orange Avenue. It went dark only briefly in 1979 in recognition of the oil embargo. In 2001, the original sign was replaced

with a new neon blue and green OUC logo

featuring a light bulb and faucet. OUC would turn out the lights on the sign once more in

Page 50

in 2008, the neon sign was removed from

before being relocated to the new facility. In keeping with the energy and water

efficiency of Reliable Plaza and OUC’s support of water conservation, the familiar droplet

from the faucet was removed from the sign and the logo.

1990–2010 Orlando Welcomes New Millennium With lasers and fireworks from Sydney, Australia, to Orlando’s Lake Eola, cities around the globe greeted the new millennium with a flash — but without so much as a flicker of their electric power grids. The rollover in the U.S. and Canada was monitored closely by the North American Electricity Reliability Council, which reported that no Y2K events affected electricity production, transmission or delivery. At OUC, nearly 300 employees who were deployed to strategic locations stood by as the year 2000 began. All eyes were on critical power, water and information management systems, but none had problems adjusting to the date change. OUC’s success was attributed to thousands of hours of work over the prior 2.5 years, including the implementation of a Y2K initiative.

In 2001, OUC launched a print advertising campaign to help recruit a diverse workforce.

Fuel Diversity:

Stanton A and B Natural Gas Generating Units Come Online steam generators and a steam turbine, which went commercial on October 1, 2003. The

however, the gasification component was

efficient and environmentally advanced unit

cancelled in 2007 due to environmental

was a joint development project among

regulation uncertainty. OUC and Southern

OUC, Southern Company, the Florida

Company proceeded with the construction

Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and

of a 300-MW combined-cycle natural gas

Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA). The unit

plant. The unit came online in February 2010

was built north of the two existing coal units

and is owned and operated by OUC.

on 60 acres of the 3,280-acre Stanton Energy Center site. OUC and partner Southern Company An important aspect of OUC’s generation

begin commercial operation in 2010;

received a U.S. Department of Energy Grant

asset restructuring plan was to invest in

for Clean Coal project in 2004. The grant

clean, modern technology that provided fuel

was awarded to help build a $557 million,

diversity. The Stanton A and B units provide

285-MW advanced coal gasification facility

a combined 933 MWs of clean generation.

at SEC as part of the department’s Clean

Stanton A is a 633-MW, natural gas-fired

Coal Power Initiative. The project was

combined-cycle unit with heat-recovery

expected to break ground in 2007 and

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ups an� �owns OUC crews laid electric cable underground to power Orlando’s growing medical city.

A Decade of Reliability “The Reliable One” was benchmarked as

Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI),

the most reliable utility in the Southeast region

the average number of outage minutes per year.

in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 and in the state

OUC line technicians help to ensure the utility’s award-winning record for electric reliability.

In addition, OUC’s generation units are

every year from 2002-2009. Four times in the

among the most reliable in the nation.

decade, PA Consulting Group recognized

Generation reliability performance is measured

OUC as the winner of the Southeast region

by an Equivalent Forced Outage Rate (EFOR)

ReliabilityOne™ award, which is given annually

that measures unplanned outages, not

to the utilities that have excelled in delivering

scheduled ones. In 2010, the national average

reliable electric service to their customers.

for unplanned outages was about 8 percent;

Comparison of the Florida Public Service

however, Stanton Energy Center’s coal-fired

Commission’s utility data showed OUC’s

Units 1 and 2 averaged a remarkably low

performance well ahead of Florida’s four

1 percent. Solid preventive maintenance,

largest utilities in key measurements of overall

including the use of 3-D (three-dimensional)

electric reliability: LBar (average length of

imaging, helps identify potential problems

single service interruptions) and System

before they arise.

Ken Ksionek: “Strong, Determined Leader” General Manager (2004–2018)


en Ksionek was named interim General Manager after the death of Bob Haven and given the permanent position October 12, 2004. Ksionek had served as Vice President of OUC’s Energy Delivery Business Unit from 1995 to 2004 — managing the engineering, construction, maintenance and operation of OUC’s

Ksionek proved to be the right electric distribution systems. leader for the right time to face Ksionek, a graduate of the these challenges. His intimate University of Wisconsin, joined knowledge of the electric system OUC in 1985 as Director of Construction for the Stanton Energy and the emergency preparedness plan allowed him to respond Center Unit 1 and then became the Director of Capital Projects and quickly. Four years later, Ksionek would be tested yet again as he Co-Project Manager of Stanton had to lead OUC through what Unit 2 Construction. During his has been labeled a national tenure as Vice President of Energy economic recession. The financial Delivery, OUC gained national tsunami that followed required a prominence for its reliability. steady hand as the utility faced Ksionek took over the General Manager and CEO position in what volatile fuel markets and a local housing downturn that put a halt to would become one of the most customer growth. tumultuous years in OUC history. Through it all, Ksionek persevered Having no time to prepare for the and OUC fared well by effectively transition, he had to immediately reducing expenses and improving deal with employees mourning the operational efficiencies. At the loss of a beloved leader and final same time, the electric and water negotiations on a 20-year water utility industries were once again consumptive use permit. Testing facing potential increased the mettle of the new leader even further, Hurricane Charley pummeled regulation. The Florida Public Service Commission approved Central Florida on Friday, August compliance goals that would 13 — leaving 80 percent of OUC’s require the state’s larger electric customers without power. OUC utilities to reduce energy had never experienced a storm of consumption and increase this magnitude — and for the first customer education. As typical time had to ask other utilities for of Ksionek, he not only wanted assistance. Charley was followed to meet the goals, but exceed weeks later by Hurricanes Frances them. As a result, OUC was on and Jeanne. Page 52

course to not only help customers conserve, but to also find ways to weave sustainability through all parts of the organization. From building a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) customer service and administration center to constructing a solar farm at the Stanton Energy Center, OUC showed its commitment to providing clean water and electricity that was affordable and reliable. After serving more than 32 years with OUC, Ksionek retired February 1, 2018. Passionate about reliability, sustainability and emerging technologies, Ksionek had successfully led OUC’s efforts to be “The Reliable One” and “The Sustainable One,” too. From enhancing the region’s economic development efforts … to championing innovative solar installations … to deploying data-driven technologies that allowed OUC customers to become smarter energy and water customers, his expertise, leadership and devotion helped make OUC one of the most forward-thinking utilities in the nation.


1990–2010 National/Regional Events Affect Power Industry Northeast Blackout of 2003 On August 14, 2003, shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a highvoltage power line in northern Ohio brushed against some overgrown trees and knocked out power in eight states and part of Canada. By 4:13 p.m.,

contributed to at least 11 deaths and

million dollars a day for an infraction,

cost an estimated $6 billion. In the wake

depending on its flagrancy and the

of the blackout, Congress passed the

risk incurred.

Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Energy Policy Act of 2005 The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was

South Florida Blackout of 2008 On February 26, 2008, an equipment

508 generating units at 256 power plants

designed to combat growing energy

failure and fire at a transmission

across these eight states were off-line.

problems and changed U.S. energy

substation forced the automatic

More than 61,800 MWs of electrical

policy by providing tax incentives and

shutdown of four generating units —

load was lost in parts of Ohio, Michigan,

loan guarantees for energy production

two of them nuclear-powered —

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,

of various types. It also expanded the

at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont

role of the Federal Energy Regulatory

Within minutes, the failure set off a

and the province of Ontario.

Commission (FERC) by requiring it to

cascade of power outages from Key

solicit, approve and enforce new electric

West to Daytona Beach and further

restored to most customers within hours,

reliability standards from the North

north, affecting up to 2.5 million

some areas of the United States did not

American Electricity Reliability

customers statewide. OUC’s generating

have power for two days and parts of

Corporation (NERC).

system automatically began to shut

Although power was successfully

Ontario experienced rolling blackouts

Prior to the blackout, NERC set

down 13 circuits at 11 substations

for up to two weeks due to a generation

voluntary standards. As a result of the

across the metro area. That left

capacity shortage. In total, about

regulation, FERC approved 96 new

11,438 customers, mostly residential,

50 million people lost power for up

reliability standards covering trees,

without power for two to 20 minutes.

to two days in the biggest blackout

training and tools. It also gave FERC the

in North American history. The event

authority to impose fines of up to a

OUC Secures 20-year Renewal of Water Consumptive Use Permit In 2004, OUC reached agreement on an historic 20-year renewal of its Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) with the St. Johns River and South Florida Water Management Districts. The permit, which represented a regional water solution among OUC, the water management districts and Orange County, authorized OUC to withdraw groundwater for treatment and distribution to customers. As part of the CUP and settlement agreement, OUC pledged to maintain its groundwater withdrawal allocation at the same level for the next 20 years, increase the use of reclaimed water, develop alternative water supply with utility partners and enhance conservation efforts.

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Page 53

In 2003, the Florida section of the American Water Works Association named H2OUC (OUC’s Orlando drinking water) the best in the state.

Three Hurricanes in One Season: “A Year’s Worth of Work in 45 Days” In 45 days during Florida’s most active

poles over houses. Over the course of the three

hurricane season on record — the summer of

storms, OUC spent about $31 million to repair

2004 — Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne

damage. Though the hurricanes impacted OUC

hit Orlando, devastating Central Florida’s tree

financially, reimbursement for the bulk of

canopy and sending thousands of trees crashing

hurricane-related costs came from the Federal

into homes and miles of power lines. Charley

Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and

knocked out power to 80 percent of OUC’s

the State of Florida. None of these costs was

customers; Frances, 40 percent; and Jeanne,

passed on to customers.

59 percent.

In all, OUC replaced 570 poles and 453

OUC linemen served on the front lines of restoration efforts, routinely working 16-hour

44.2 miles of secondary line. Only two boil water

days in dangerous conditions. With that effort,

alerts were issued — and more than 2,000

power was safely restored to OUC’s affected

linemen, tree trimmers and trouble technicians

customers at a faster rate than the neighboring

were called in to assist with restoration.

utilities. After Hurricane Charley, crews had

Customer service representatives fielded more

to replace rear-lot line poles that had been

than 160,000 calls, a 50 percent increase from

knocked over in customers’ backyards. In some

normal activity.

cases, cranes were used to lift replacement

Mutual Aid: Returning the Favor OUC was happy to return the favor for several

transformers, 26.6 miles of primary line and

power to customers who had been out since

utilities that sent crews to restore power in

Frances swept through on September 4, 2004.

Orlando and St. Cloud after Charley devastated

OUC also sent linemen to the City of Opp,

the area. After completing its own power

Alabama (near the Florida-Alabama border)

restoration following Hurricane Frances and

to help the restoration effort in the wake of

making sure that Hurricane Ivan was going to

Hurricane Ivan. In September 2005, OUC electric

bypass Central Florida, OUC released crews

and water crews went to Gulfport, Mississippi, to

to Fort Pierce Utilities Authority to help restore

help communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Page 54

Used with permission of the Orlando Sentinel, copyright 2011

ups an� �owns Customer Education and Outreach In the Community From hurricane preparedness to input on transmission line projects, OUC was committed to keeping customers informed through neighborhood outreach. OUC worked with St. Cloud and the community to determine the route of a new transmission line and the location of a new substation — holding several public meetings to speak with residents and invite their input. To determine the preferred route, engineers looked at 74 different transmission line segments and 96 alternative route combinations.

Hurricane Preparedness and Conservation Following the record-breaking hurricane season of 2004, OUC held 18 community meetings to discuss hurricane preparation and response for the 2005 storm season. The utility continued those meetings in 2006 and 2007. In early 2010, faced with a worsening economy and a rising number of calls from customers who were having difficulty paying their utility bills, OUC

consumption and, in turn, their utility bills. Billing options and payment assistance also were featured. Later that same year, OUC partnered with the City of Orlando for the Green Neighborhood Program, which would deliver efficiency upgrades to more than 1,000 inefficient homes throughout Orlando.

In the Classroom Throughout its history, OUC has talk to students about electrical safety,


conservation, hurricane preparedness

In 2009, OUC partnered with the

often gone into local classrooms to

and careers in utilities. In 2006, OUC

Orlando Science Center to develop

renewed its outreach in the schools,

a program to educate all fifth grade

focusing on Central Florida’s diminishing

students in OUC’s electric and water

water resources. OUC partnered with

service territories in Orange and Osceola

Orange County Utilities and arts teachers

counties about water conservation,

in Orange County Public Schools to

energy efficiency and alternative energy

involve students in the annual Water Color Project,

resources. Project AWESOME (Alternative

a regional art contest that challenged high school

Water & Energy Supply, Observation,

students to use conservation themes to decorate

Methods & Education) was designed to

rain barrels. Meanwhile, fifth graders submitted

encourage good habits at an early age

water conservation drawings for a chance to be

utilizing hands-on water and energy

featured in the annual Water Color Project calendar.

activities. The curriculum met Sunshine State Standards and reached about 6,000

hosted a series of “Reliably Green” community

fifth graders each year.

meetings to inform customers about conservation tips and rebate programs that could reduce their

Lighting Retrofit Program Since 2003, OUC has provided its Lighting

Retrofit Program for commercial customers — retrofitting indoor lighting systems with more

By 2010, OUC’s indoor lighting partnership

with Orange County Public Schools had installed energy-saving fixtures at 30 schools for an

ups an� �owns

energy-efficient, cost-effective ones for projected energy savings of 65-70 percent.

In return for the new lights, customers pay off

the equipment by reimbursing OUC with the money they save on their electric bills. The

payback period was typically three to four years.

Page 56

annual energy savings of 2.2 MWs and more than

$900,000 in energy costs. At participating schools, OUC replaced old lighting fixtures with more

energy-efficient retrofits. The schools benefitted immediately as the up-front costs were spread over multiple billing periods. Best of all, the

charges were balanced out by lower power bills.

1990–2010 OUC vehicles “then and now” — dieselpowered truck and hybrid bucket truck.

Balancing Affordability, Reliability and Environmental Stewardship Beginning in 2006, the demand for affordable, reliable, clean generation was more important than ever, as the whole country was embracing a “green revolution.” Companies scrambled to add renewable resources to their generation portfolios as Congress debated “climate” laws that would tax carbon emitted from power plants. Talk of “cap and trade” regulation was the rage as utilities began to look for ways to reduce their power plant carbon emissions. OUC undertook an electric Integrated Resource Plan to determine the best way to provide clean, affordable, reliable power and to comply with potential federal climate legislation. The utility also looked for ways to help customers become more energy efficient.

A Commitment to Sustainability

A Green Fleet

so that they are as reliable as the crews and

That commitment to sustainability was equally evident in OUC’s growing fleet. OUC’s reputation for reliable and responsive electric and water service over the years stems, in large part, from the hard work of the Fleet Division that has kept the utility’s vehicles on the road and ready to roll. In 1955, the then-Automotive Department was responsible for maintaining 57 vehicles ranging from gas-powered trucks to tractors. Since that time, the fleet has grown to include more than 800 vehicles, many of which run on lower emission biodiesel and several of which are high-efficiency plug-in electric cars

In response, OUC renewed its efforts to

and hybrid bucket trucks. Service and repair

implement programs, practices and standards

records once kept in handwritten logs are now

that promoted sustainability throughout the

tracked via high-tech software that communicates

Commission. Initiatives included expanding

with a vehicle’s onboard computer to run

the recycling program and upgrading facilities

diagnostics, schedule maintenance and assess

with energy-efficient lighting and light sensors;

fuel consumption and performance. These

installing rain sensors on irrigation systems;

advancements have helped OUC improve

adjusting thermostats; and forming a Green Team

the efficiency and safety of the fleet, lowering

of employee volunteers who worked to implement

emissions and maximizing the life of the vehicles,

personnel they carry. In 2006, OUC began using biodiesel fuel in its diesel fleet trucks. Made from renewable domestic resources — like fats used in cooking grease — biodiesel is a cleaner burning, lower emission alternative to pure petroleum diesel fuels. The B20 mix integrated seamlessly into OUC’s current fueling system while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 percent. The Fleet Division also incorporated a number of other eco-conscious policies, using earth-friendly products and disposing of contaminated fuels according to environmental standards. Tires, batteries and oil filters were recycled through vendors, while freon, antifreeze and motor oil were handled on site. Water was recycled, too — thanks to mini-water treatment plants and wash racks at the Pershing and Gardenia facilities that kept OUC vehicles clean. OUC uses computers to run vehicle diagnostics.

practical, sustainable operations in their areas.

OUC was the first municipal utility in Florida to acquire a plug-in hybrid that gets up to 99 mpg. Page 57

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Reliable Plaza Green Features Include: • Solar photovoltaic array on the roof. • Solar water heating via rooftop panels. • Water collection cistern for irrigation. • Low-flow plumbing fixtures. • Raised flooring for efficient heating and cooling. • High-efficiency, daylight-sensitive lighting. • VOC-free (Volatile Organic Compound) carpet and paint.

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THE GREENEST BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN ORLANDO When the land under OUC’s former parking garage was required for the

Customer Features The first floor offered one-stop service

Department of Transportation’s expansion

to all OUC customers. An expanded

of State Road 408, OUC evaluated its

residential service center provided an

options and made the decision to build

improved customer experience with eight

a new 110,000-square-foot customer

teller stations, three drive-through lanes

service and administration center and

and more convenient parking.

set the standard for sustainable buildings in Orlando.

Commercial and industrial customers had everything they needed in the new

While this new green home was a major

Commercial Service Center, and local

milestone for OUC, it was also a first for the

developers, builders and contractors

Central Florida community. Designed to

enjoyed a single point of contact through

meet the requirements for Leadership in

the Development Services Center.

Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Reliable Plaza also featured an interactive

Gold Certification, Reliable Plaza earned

conservation education center, located on

the title of “The Greenest Building in

the first floor near Customer Service. With

Downtown Orlando.” It was designed

a live link to the building’s conservation

to use about 28 percent less energy and

systems, the center’s touch screen gave

40 percent less water than similar buildings

customers real-time data on how Reliable

built to code.

Plaza used — and saved — energy and

More than 12,000 customers visited

water. The center also provided information

Reliable Plaza monthly to pay their utility

on green building ideas, conservation tips

bills, set up or change service, or learn more

and programs customers could employ

about energy and water conservation.

at home. On November 11, 2008, Reliable Plaza was dedicated in honor of Veteran’s Day and the men and women of OUC who served their country. The American flag was raised by a group of OUC Veterans.

A Florida Original: The mural at Reliable Plaza is based on a landscape by Highwaymen artist Harold Newton

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(1934-94). Historian Gary Monroe noted, “Newton stands alone having created the images of modern Florida that symbolized the state as the place to really be alive.” Page 59


Weathering Tough Economic Times

From hard hats and gloves to cable and pipe, having the right part at the right time is a critical

In the spring of 2008, OUC had already felt

component in delivering reliable

the economic ground moving beneath Central

and affordable service for

Florida. From an increase in customers needing

customers. Dating back to the

payment arrangements . . . to well-established

earliest days of the Commission,

By 2010, OUC was maintaining

businesses shutting down . . . to a halting of

OUC’s supply chain area has made sure

an inventory of 26,000 parts and

customer growth, the utility realized a storm

employees had the tools and materials

supplies across 113,000 square feet of

was brewing and that it would be necessary

they needed to do the job. In 2007, the

warehousing and 28 acres of outside

to batten down the hatches and prepare for

largely manually intensive process of

storage area at five sites. In addition,

rough weather.

tracking, stocking and ordering items was

OUC was recycling tons of materials

That June, OUC undertook cost-cutting

converted to a wireless barcode scanning

in an environmentally responsible way,

measures that included a hiring freeze for non-

system that could provide data in real

including porcelain insulators, wooden

essential positions, release of contractors and

time, allowing OUC to keep the right

pallets, wooden wire and cable reels,

travel limitations, to name a few.

amount of parts on hand and accurately

brass water meters and more than

forecast when materials would be

1.7 million pounds of steel, aluminum

help than ever, OUC launched new programs

needed for future projects. The high-

and copper. Across the Commission,

to reduce energy and water consumption and

tech system enabled OUC to further

OUC also introduced single-stream

enable customers to pay utility bills over an

streamline its inventory, eliminating

recycling to make it easier for employees

extended period of time. In addition, OUC

obsolete or excessive parts and reducing

to recycle a wider variety of materials

increased contributions to its Project Care

the costs of storing unneeded items.

and partnered with a vendor who

Utility Assistance Fund by 70 percent.

It also helped OUC improve efficiencies

purchased the recyclable paper and

in everything from purchasing to the

cardboard, diverting it from the landfill

warehouse, while expanding the use of

and generating revenue for charity.

Knowing that customers would need more

sustainable practices such as recycling.

: e r a C t Proj ec ory A His t ing of H e l p

After passing the $1 million mark in assistance in 2008, OUC overhauled Project Care, the emergency bill payment assistance program first launched in 1994, to better assist those customers who needed help the most. In addition to matching employee and customer contributions 2 to 1, OUC increased customer allocations and made eligibility guidelines more flexible. In partnership with 2-1-1, a United Way agency, OUC also funded a full-time Project Care administrator to streamline the application and approval process for qualifying OUC customers experiencing temporary problems paying their utility bills. At the close of 2010, contributions had surpassed $2 million.

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1990–2010 ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station located at City Hall.

Innovation — From Light Poles to Charging Stations OUC planned for a brighter tomorrow with a

building’s parking garage, the 16-panel solar

number of innovative projects including installing

array provided a total of 2.8 kilowatts of power

solar charging stations for electric vehicles and

to charge the vehicles.

cutting-edge solar photovoltaic (PV) technology on utility poles.

To help prepare Central Florida to support plug-in electric vehicles, OUC partnered with

As part of the utility’s commitment to alternative

the City of Orlando, Orange County and others

fuels and efficient transportation, two of its three

as part of a national non-profit initiative called

electric-vehicle charging stations at Reliable Plaza

Project Get Ready. A Department of Energy

were powered by the sun — and were the first

ChargePoint America Grant would provide

of their kind in Orlando. Located on top of the

nearly 300 charging stations to Central Florida.

New Conservation Requirements On December 1, 2009, the Florida Public

each year. To accomplish those goals, OUC was

Service Commission (PSC) established new peak

determined to ramp-up promotion of existing

demand and energy conservation requirements

programs and introduce new ones to help

for all large electric utilities in the State of Florida.

customers improve the efficiency of their homes

The new rules would require OUC to reduce

and businesses.

energy consumption by an average 3,600,000 kWh

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OUC installed the first utility pole-mounted solar PV system in Florida. The pilot project included 10 intelligent photovoltaic solar systems that together could produce up to 2 kilowatts that was pumped directly into the power grid.

OUC Partners on Largest Solar Rooftop Array in Southeast at the Orange County Convention Center In May 2009, OUC joined Orange County to

In addition to the grant, OUC contributed

flip the switch on the largest rooftop solar PV

$1.5 million to the project and would receive

system in the Southeast United States. The 1-MW

10 years worth of Renewable Energy Credits.

array atop the Orange County Convention Center

The PV system, which utilizes high-efficiency,

was the result of a partnership between OUC and

flat-plate collectors, covered about 200,000

Orange County that was awarded a $2.5 million

square feet of the Convention Center’s

grant from the State of Florida to install the

North/South building and would generate

landmark project. DOE named the installation

1,300 to 1,500 MWH of electricity per year —

a Solar America Showcase.

the equivalent amount of power used by 80 to

In 2010, OUC added a 31-kW solar array atop the Dr. Phillips Cinedome at the Orlando Science Center.

100 typical homes. And no greenhouse gas emissions would be produced in the process.

A Solar City in the Sunshine State OUC’s efforts to ready Central Florida for a renewable future were rewarded in 2008 as its hometown was designated a “Solar America City” by the U.S. Department of Energy. The ongoing green partnership between OUC, the City of Orlando and Orange County received $450,000 in funding and technical expertise to help develop solar projects in the community that could be replicated across the country. The previous year, OUC had launched solar photovoltaic and solar thermal programs that helped customers eliminate the upfront costs of solar. The program included a partnership with the Orlando Federal Credit Union to provide no- or low-interest loans to homeowners.

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1990–2010 Green Neighborhood Program In 2010, OUC partnered with the City of

of high energy consumption, thanks to

Orlando on the Green Neighborhood Program,

funding from OUC and the federal stimulus

a weatherization fix-up program that targeted

funds the City received in the form of an Energy

homes in some of the City’s least energy-efficient

Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).

neighborhoods. Based on historical consumption

Participants in the Green Neighborhood Program

data from OUC, the City developed an energy

received an energy and water audit from OUC

intensity map to identify the neighborhoods with

followed by a complimentary package of electric

the highest energy consumption per square foot.

and water conservation measures valued up

The Green Neighborhood Program was

to $1,000.

In 2010, the Green Neighborhood Program: Implemented more than $700,000 in conservation measures for a total annual energy savings of more than 1.3 million kWh in more than 1,000 homes in the City of Orlando.

provided free to neighborhoods with a history

New Power Partnerships: OUC Sells Electricity to Vero Beach and Bartow Power plants take years to permit and construct and are built with growth in mind. Utilities forecast their generation requirements and supplement

of power over a definite period of time as the

future energy requirements above the City’s

utility grows into its load requirements.

current resource level.

On January 1, 2010, OUC became the exclusive

Also in 2010, OUC and the City of Bartow

their electricity needs by selling blocks of

power provider for the City of Vero Beach —

signed a seven-year power purchase agreement.

generation to other municipalities or utilities

providing about 100 MW of electricity to the

OUC would provide wholesale power to the City

through power purchase agreements. Such power

beachfront community for a period of 20 years.

beginning January 1, 2011; Bartow would then

partnerships with other municipalities have been an

The agreement made OUC Vero Beach’s exclusive

distribute it through its existing infrastructure

effective way for OUC to contract large increments

power provider and power marketer, supplying

to about 11,000 customers.

OUR COMMITMENT TO FUTURE GENERATIONS At the close of the first decade of the new millennium, OUC remained committed to building upon the strong foundation it had established over the past 87 years. Through it all, one thing has been constant — the employees of OUC continue to provide the highest level of reliability at affordable rates while acting as good stewards of the environment.

Page 63

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Farm at the Curtis H. Stanton

& Billing system goes live.

P. Ksionek

Energy Center — the first solar

• Four solar

Community Solar Farm opens

farm in Orange County.


at the Stanton Energy Center.

installed at

• OUC restores power after

the Orange

Hurricane Irma affects more

County Convention Center.

than 60 percent of customers.

OUC launches the Stanton Solar

• OUC’s new Customer Care


• Kenneth

VA Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the


University of Florida Research and Academic Center come online with help from OUC.

OUC joins the Florida Municipal Power Agency



mobile-friendly website,

Tasting Water in Central

automated phone system and


• OUC deploys a

and other partners to break ground on the Florida Municipal Solar Project.

OUC voted the “Best-


digital electric and water meters.

• OUC pledges to achieve Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050.

• Central Florida’s first

• OUC provides $12.1 million in COVID-19

community solar farm becomes

relief programs for customers.

operational at OUC’s



St. Cloud break ground

Mayor Buddy

Excellence Award for Innovation in Customer

on Florida’s first net-zero

Dyer honors OUC for a

Service from CS Week and Electric Light &

energy campus built for

century of reliable service to

Power Magazine.

a utility.

Central Florida.

Gardenia Operations facility.


OUC and the City of OUC wins the Expanding


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11 0 2 IN



L E V E R A G I N G T E C H N O L O G Y, S U P P O R T I N G G R O W T H A N D E M B R A C I N G S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y hile the new decade began amid a national recession,

real-world innovation and technology that everybody could use. As

Central Florida’s economy showed signs of rebounding by

consumers began to expect more from their utility provider, OUC

2011, and OUC was well-positioned to lead and capture

anticipated and met those needs with digital initiatives and products

this growth over the coming years. Through sustainability initiatives and

that improved access, affordability and convenience for customers across

technology transformations, OUC drove commercial and residential growth

its service area.

while supporting the region’s burgeoning economy. At every major milestone,

While this decade brought promising growth, it also posed significant

OUC’s teams brought new development online, from Lake Nona’s bustling

challenges, including a series of hurricanes that impacted thousands of

community … to airport expansions and highway upgrades … to new

customers on OUC’s power grid. Those moments tested OUC’s commitment

sporting and entertainment venues.

to Central Florida and beyond — and its team rose to the occasion, working

Driven by a goal of powering the “Greenest City in the Southeast,”

around the clock to restore power and maintain trust.

OUC embraced sustainability at every level, incorporating it fully into the

While many images define this decade, OUC’s first solar farm is perhaps

organization’s culture. This ongoing process began with casting a vision for

the most iconic. Located along an expansive stretch of Innovation Way in east

the future and taking a good, hard look at what mattered to sustainably

Orange County, the Stanton Solar Farm tracks the sun as it moves across the

minded customers, employees and business partners. Based on that input, in

Central Florida sky and generates clean power with its 25,172 state-of-the-

2014 OUC mapped out a sustainability “journey” for each of its constituents,

art panels. OUC customers who travel this area can see the solar generation

along with a road map for the organization to follow.

that provides renewable energy to their homes and businesses. It’s a sign of

What began in the 1980s with educating employees and customers about the importance of protecting and conserving vital resources evolved into

the region’s ongoing evolution … and OUC’s commitment to deliver reliable, sustainable energy every step of the way.

Page 65

The First Solar Farm in Orange County The Stanton Solar Farm came online at the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center in late 2011, becoming the first solar farm in Orange County and further diversifying OUC’s modern fleet of generation units. The 5.9-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm, which generated enough renewable energy to power more than 600 homes, allowed OUC to study the impact of a large-scale solar array on its electric distribution system. Duke Energy and Regenesis Power LLC installed, operated and maintained the system, and OUC planned to purchase its power through 2031. The solar panels’ design, hightech at the time, featured a patented single-axis tracking system that increased electricity output by up to 30 percent and could withstand hurricane force winds.

Achieving Operational Efficiency In 2012 OUC combined the Power Resource Business Unit with Water

Production and Chilled Water into a single Electric & Water Production team

with lofty goals: to leverage technical and operational resources, improve cost effectiveness and increase cross-training opportunities.

rapi� change Chilled Water and Water Production also began cross-utilizing operators

to run their plants, creating a deeper bench of highly trained employees to

support both areas. Electric & Water Delivery (EWD) took the organizational

changes to the next level in 2013 to better balance spans of control, capture

economies of scale by grouping like functions, and streamline decision-making. An additional benefit was the efficiencies created for new infrastructure, as

electricity and water engineering teams were able to work with developers as a cohesive unit to not only serve current infrastructure but plan for future needs.


2011–2023 Protecting Avian Wildlife Next door to OUC’s Gold LEEDcertified Reliable Plaza, the utility’s former Administration Building, which had been a part of the Orlando skyline since 1968, got a new lease on life. GDC Properties, LLC purchased the eight-story property in 2011 for $2.8 million, ultimately reopening it as Aloft Downtown Orlando Hotel in 2013.

Eagles can be electrocuted when they capture their prey and bring it to the top of distribution poles. To solve this challenge, OUC’s Environmental teams utilized sophisticated computer modeling to develop intricate maps that track the known nesting locations of bald eagles and analyze the foraging behavior of these very large predators. OUC worked with Engineering and Electric Distribution crews to install specially designed coverings on conductors, transformers and pole insulators to protect these beautiful birds, without altering their natural foraging behavior. OUC was one of the first utilities in Florida to create an Avian Protection Plan in 2009 and constantly works to update it.

OUT FRONT IN SUSTAINABILITY Central Florida’s first community solar farm began producing power in early October 2013, at OUC’s Gardenia Innovation & Operations Center next to I-4. OUC gave customers the opportunity to subscribe to the innovative array and receive the benefits of solar power without the hassle or upfront costs associated with installation. The program was open to both home owners and renters — a critical selling point since

55 percent of OUC customers reside in multi-family housing. The array was built by ESA Renewables, which owns and operates it. OUC agreed to purchase power from the array for 25 years. In addition, OUC worked with the City of Orlando and ESA to develop a 417.6-kW roof-mounted PV solar array atop the City of Orlando’s Fleet Maintenance Building that was expected

to generate about 580,000 kWh annually, equivalent to powering about 45 average-sized Orlando homes and offsetting 2,375 vehicles’ gas emissions per year. The construction brought 20 green jobs to the City, with the expectation of providing $800,000 in energy cost savings over the life of the project. OUC Commission President Dan Kirby unveiled Central Florida’s first community solar farm at the Gardenia Innovation & Operations Center, which featured 1,312 solar panels in three canopies covering 2.5 acres of OUC property.

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rapi� change Revolutionizing the Customer Experience After lowering electric rates twice

water meters in less than a year.

in 2012, OUC moved forward in

As part of this transition,

2013 with an ambitious plan to

OUC closed its three

leverage technology to improve

walk-in customer service

the customer experience.

centers — at Reliable Plaza

As a 24/7 operation, the utility

in downtown Orlando, Gardenia

Fast-Tracking Digital Meters. To give

wanted to extend the same

Avenue and St. Cloud — as

customers the detailed information they need

round-the-clock convenience

part of a commitment to keep

to make better decisions about their energy

to its customers — and did exactly that by launching a mobilefriendly website, adding 500 third-party payment locations where payments are credited immediately, and deploying digital electric and

rates low. Extensive customer

and water consumption, OUC accelerated the

research in 2012 revealed a growing

conversion to digital electric and water meters

preference for convenient payment options and lower fees. Over the next few years, the utility continued

that provide a steady stream of consumption data. In 2012, the OUC Board approved two projects totaling $58.9 million to upgrade about

to improve and refine its model with new

150,000 electric meters and 147,000 water meters,

features, including a digital consumption

beginning in January 2013. The digital meter deployment, along with a new meter data management system, laid the foundation to enhance OUC’s website and allow customers to better monitor their consumption. OUC had already deployed 73,259 electric and 3,117 water meters as part of an advanced metering infrastructure project. Benefits to customers included more proactive customer service, the ability to offer prepaid metering and a reduction in estimated bills. The switch also reduced costs by eliminating manual reads, reducing truck rolls, automating disconnects/ reconnects, and detecting faults, leaks and theft. In 2023, OUC upgraded current meters with advanced, next-generation automated metering infrastructure (AMI) to help ensure continued accuracy and provide enhanced data as customers track water usage.

dashboard, an Interactive Voice Response automated phone system and three convenient options to help residential and commercial customers track their bills, save money, and handle payments seamlessly.

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2011–2023 Launching the Business Energy Advisor. To help commercial customers make smart energy-related decisions, OUC launched the interactive Business Energy Advisor (BEA) microsite, which was continually updated in the following years. BEA featured an online library with

Expanding Excellence on the Smart Grid. In 2014, CS Week and Electric Light

information on equipment-buying, maintenance tips and low-cost solutions, as well as industryspecific resources to help users learn about

& Power magazine gave OUC its prestigious

energy consumption and load profiles for facilities

“Expanding Excellence Award” for Best Smart

like theirs. The website included calculators and

Grid Infrastructure in the Large Utility category,

checklists to help customers determine how much

which evaluated North American utilities with

they’d save by upgrading equipment, as well as

more than $500 million in revenue. The award

a benchmarking function to pinpoint the most

recognized OUC’s innovative, low-cost and

energy-intensive areas of their business.

comprehensive Meter Data Management

Encouraging Conservation with the OUC Usage Dashboard. The ability to see and adjust usage patterns to lower energy bills was one of the items most

project, the acceleration of digital meter deployment, and the ability for customers to make real-time payments from hundreds of new locations. The following year, OUC was honored

frequently requested by OUC customers. To

by the same publications, this time for

accommodate their needs, OUC released the

Innovation in Customer Service. The award

OUC Usage Dashboard in October 2014 to

was especially significant because it

nearly 20,000 residential customers to test the

placed OUC at the top of a category that

program before the full rollout at year-end.

included all large utilities in North America.

Because the new system also provided high-

OUC was recognized for taking customer/

consumption alerts via email, changes in

utility connectivity into the future by vastly

usage could be made immediately, and costs

increasing the size and speed of information

could be kept in check.

flow and providing a seamless user experience.

Power Pass: A Flexible Way for Customers To Control Energy, Water Usage To make it easier for customers to stay current on their bills, OUC launched Power Pass in 2015, a prepaid pay-as-you-go program for utility services. Power Pass allows customers to monitor their electric or water usage daily from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Customers can then pay when they want, the amount they want, and how they want — online, by phone or in person at over 500 locations around town, including convenience and grocery stores. When consumption gets high, customers get Power Pass alerts via email. Power Pass is ideal for customers who want to avoid paying deposits and late fees, value the opportunity to monitor and control their utility usage, split their utility bill with roommates, or travel frequently and don’t consume electricity and water on a regular basis. Power Pass also drives conservation by increasing awareness of usage, with an 8% reduction in electric energy usage among Power Pass users.

Page 69

rapi� change Developing a Clean Energy Strategy for 2020 In 2014, OUC took steps to weave sustainability into all aspects of its operations — from diversifying its power supply to helping customers incorporate green features into their homes and businesses. OUC also encouraged smart load growth and increased the use of renewables while maintaining flexibility. That catalyst resulted in OUC setting a Clean Energy Strategy goal, which was ultimately achieved, of 20 percent of retail sales from renewables and conservation by 2020. Excluding nuclear, this target was more aggressive than any other utility in Florida. The utility also explored efficiencies in electric generation and distribution, designed to save more than 19,000 MW hours annually. Those programs supported OUC’s existing efforts to undertake a systemwide LED

In addition, OUC installed high-visibility customer educational displays, such as solar sculptures and bus shelters equipped with solarpowered mobile chargers, along with OUCbranded public water fountains. To stay at the forefront of innovation and emerging technology, OUC also collaborated with universities on research and development that in the future will include biofuels, micro grids and battery storage in addition to solar.

Sustainable, Reliable and Rideable. A natural fit for its community outreach efforts, OUC became the first corporate sponsor of Orlando Bike Share in 2014. The service used mobile technology to let people rent bicycles from various stations across downtown. As an early partner of this program, OUC was ahead of the curve in making ecofriendly mobility accessible to more Central Floridians.

streetlight implementation program and expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Page 70

2011–2023 OUC Water is Tops in Taste OUC was tapped in 2014 by the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association for having the “Best-Tasting Water in Central Florida,” outranking 12 other water utilities. OUC surpasses all federal and state requirements for water quality by conducting

In 2014, OUC began upgrading its latest water treatment plant — the Southwest plant in the Dr. Phillips area — with the latest ozonation technology.

20,000 chemical and bacterial water quality tests each year, testing for 135 regulated and unregulated substances annually. In 2014, OUC’s 20 ozone generators processed nearly 28 billion gallons of water. That year, OUC began upgrading its latest water treatment plant — the Southwest plant in the Dr. Phillips area — with the latest ozonation technology. The $11.3 million worth of upgrades brought efficiencies that yield yearly cost savings.

OUC’s Team: The Driving Force Behind The Reliable One OUC Named a Top 8 Company for Working Families OUC focused on attracting, developing and retaining talented employees to ensure it had the right team for the job.

rapi� change

The Orlando Sentinel ranked OUC No. 8 on its annual Top 100 Companies for Working Families list in both 2013 and 2014. OUC scored high on core benefits, work environment, communication and training — thanks largely

to a comprehensive benefits package, which includes time off for family, medical benefits, pension, educational

opportunities, wellness initiatives, volunteer opportunities and community events. OUC continues to evaluate overall benefits and structure to maintain a competitive edge when it comes to hiring and keeping top talent.

Page 71

rapi� change

Providing Power to Other Communities Thanks to a diverse and ample generation

from the Bennett substation and utilizing an

portfolio, OUC began delivering power to the cities

existing manhole and duct-line system through

of Winter Park and Lake Worth on January 1, 2014.

Baldwin Park.

OUC delivered up to 35 MWs to Lake Worth (about 180 miles southeast of Stanton) for three years with an option for two one-

The agreement was the culmination of a cooperative effort between OUC’s Electric & Water Production and Delivery

year extensions. That was in addition

teams, who provided Winter Park

to existing agreements with Bartow

with an innovative solution to a

and Vero Beach, which went up to

portion of its power supply needs.

149 MW.

After Winter Park City Commission

OUC also finalized a six-year Power

approved the agreement in August

Electric Production and Delivery Work Together to Diversify Fuel Supply

Supply Agreement, valued at $30.7

2013, OUC engineers and linemen

Leveraging the strengths of both Electric

million, and a 20-year Interconnection

got to work on underground and

Production and Electric Distribution, OUC

Agreement to deliver 20 MW to neighboring

overhead lines at the same time, completing both

continued to diversify its portfolio in 2014.

Winter Park. That collaboration was made possible

portions in 16 weeks. The permanent cutover to

OUC agreed to a 9-MW landfill gas-to-energy

by accessing a direct distribution connection to the

OUC’s feeder off Lakemont Avenue took place on

project with Shaw Environmental’s J.E.D. Solid

OUC grid, via two distribution feeders extending

December 31, 2013.

Waste Management Facility in Osceola County that could grow to 25 MW over the life of the project. To connect to this new resource, OUC began building a direct electric distribution line between the landfill and the St. Cloud substation 18 miles away. This was, by far, the longest feeder line in OUC’s distribution system. Combined with a successful landfill gas partnership with Orange County, OUC received up to 22 MW of landfill power from gas at SEC, one of the largest amounts in the state. In addition to landfill gas, SEC’s energy portfolio included natural gas, coal and solar — making it one of the most diverse generation sites in Florida.

Page 72

2011–2023 Managing the Impact of Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Meanwhile, the I-4 Ultimate project made significant enhancements to Central Florida’s interstate highway from Kirkman Road in Orange County to State Road 434 in Seminole County. This 21-mile stretch featured 15

In addition to meeting the demands of

reconstructed major interchanges, and more

maintaining the highest rate of reliability and

than 100 bridges that were expanded, replaced

installing infrastructure to facilitate

or built from the ground up.

growth, the OUC team contended

Construction on the project

with two high-profile transportation

operated 24/7, and OUC

expansion projects in Central Florida.

worked hand in hand with

Orlando International Airport,

the design/build contractor

which handled a record 41.5 million

to protect its infrastructure

passengers in FY 2015-16, began a

and prepare for the rigors of

$1.8 billion expansion, resulting in

inspections on work performed

an estimated 6 MW of load growth

around the clock.

worth $14 million in revenue over

Both the I-4 Ultimate Project

five years. Highlights included a new

and All Aboard Florida fast-rail

South Terminal and an Intermodal

construction affected OUC electric

Transportation Hub that connected

and water infrastructure and

SunRail with Brightline, Florida’s inter-city express

required the relocation of equipment and lines.

train. The passenger rail project, which would link

OUC’s Energy and Water Department added a

Orlando with Miami, impacted some of OUC’s

project director to oversee both initiatives and

existing infrastructure, requiring the utility to

ensure all work was done properly and inspected

relocate two sensitive transmission structures.

by OUC.

Finding Potential in Algae: OUC Joins a Research Development Consortium OUC expanded its commitment to sustainability to include research and development. Working with scientists from the University of Florida and across the nation, OUC applied for and received a grant in 2015 from the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to study how effectively algae can be grown from coal flue gas. The algae contained nearly 50 percent carbon and could be used to produce biofuels, chemicals, or food supplements for humans and animals, among many other uses. The research was performed by California-based MicroBio Engineering, as well as experts from the University of Florida, Arizona State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Although the experiment captured just a tiny amount of carbon from the chimney, it was a step in the right direction — with groundbreaking research for the entire industry taking place in Orlando.

Page 73

rapi� change Powering Regional Growth The Central Florida economy continued to recover from the after-effects of the 2008-2009 recession with rising hotel occupancy rates, increased traffic at Orlando International Airport, the growth of the Medical City in Lake Nona, and several redevelopment projects in Downtown Orlando. In 2012, OUC helped bring three new health care facilities — the VA Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Florida Research and Academic Center — online near Lake Nona. This rapidly growing area provided 4,500 new jobs by late 2012 and 9,000 by 2017.

Downtown Orlando: Creativity at Work. East of I-4, construction began

Lake Nona & USTA: Game On!

at Creative Village (UCF and Valencia

national campus opened to the public in 2017,

College’s downtown campus). Nearby, a sports

with 100 tennis courts and dozens of programs for

and entertainment district grew to feature a

players of all ages and abilities. OUC helped USTA

25,500-seat stadium for Orlando City Soccer

enhance its eco-friendly blueprint by installing EV

and a large retail/hotel/convention center for

charging ports and hydration stations.

The United States Tennis Association’s (USTA)

the Orlando Magic. West of the interstate, an urban revitalization project, LIFT Orlando, built six mixed-use housing developments and a 120-unit senior living project. And with the

Serving Veterans Over the Years

OUC delivered reliable electric service to the new VA Medical Center, which opened in 2012 to serve more

than 400,000 veterans. The project was yet another link

second phase of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts — a $200 million, 1,700-seat acoustical theater — The City Beautiful continued to become more attractive.

between OUC and those who have served our country. In fact, during World War II, the American Red Cross set up a surgical dressing unit at OUC’s offices.

LED Lighting Program Expands For years, OUC provided and maintained the lighting for Orlando’s legendary Citrus Bowl and UCF’s

Bright House Networks Stadium. With the construction of major projects in town, OUConvenient Lighting had an opportunity to lead the way in exterior lighting.

In 2013, OUC launched a program to replace 14,000 100-watt streetlights with LED fixtures. The

initiative expanded in 2016, replacing 12,000 (250- and 400-watt) fixtures used on larger roads and

highways, such as Semoran Boulevard and Colonial Drive. That equaled about 41 percent of OUC’s large roadway streetlights.

As LED technology continued to improve and prices kept dropping, energy savings followed.

The City of Orlando, OUC’s largest lighting customer, has saved about $650,000 a year, as well as

14 million kW hours of annual energy, following the completion of the program. Equally important, LED lighting improves safety by emitting whiter, cleaner light that provides better visibility for

Page 74

motorists, pedestrians and law enforcement.

2011–2023 KPMG Breaks Ground in Lake Nona In May 2017, global audit, tax and advisory

firm KPMG broke ground on a 1.2 million-squarefoot, $430 million learning, development and Universal Orlando Resort opened Volcano Bay.

Universal Orlando Resort Expands. Blending entertainment and technology,

innovation facility in Lake Nona. When the stateof-the-art complex opened in 2019, the Big 4 firm brought more than 20,000 employees into the market and generated about 50,000 visits to

Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park made

Orlando City Soccer Opens New Stadium Orlando City Soccer built it … and the crowds came. In February 2017, fans flocked to the new 25,500-seat stadium. Fast forward to

2021 when OUC celebrated the installation

of a creative solar sculpture at the facility — now known as Exploria Stadium. Designed

a huge splash when it opened in May 2017. As a

by UCF art and engineering students as part

next-generation water park, Volcano Bay provided

of a challenge posed by OUC, the sculpture

visitors with smart technology, called Tapu Tapu

combined beautiful form and sustainable

wristbands, to reduce their wait times. In summer

function to generate 1,264 kWh of electricity

2018, the new 600-room Aventura Hotel brought

annually — enough to offset its own lighting

the number of on-site hotel rooms at Universal to

needs and fully power an EV charging station

6,200. For OUC, the expansion represented 5 to


7 MWs of additional load with annual revenue of more than $3 million.

Amazon Fulfills Expectations for Growth. In summer 2017, online retail giant

Orlando. For OUC, this added up to an estimated

Amazon announced plans to open a new

4.5 MW of new electric load and 50 million gallons

fulfillment center near the Orlando International

of water, yielding about $2 million in annual sales.

Airport. Located on a 78-acre site, the 850,000-

Later additions included OUCooling chilled water

square-foot center brought an estimated 1,500

services, OUConvenient Lighting and EV charging

new jobs to Central Florida when it opened


in 2018. The impact to OUC was 3.6 MWs of electric load and 14.2 million gallons of water

Orlando City Stadium is a state-of-the-art Major League Soccer (MLS) facility, home to the Orlando City Soccer and Orlando Pride teams.

a year, yielding $2 million in annual revenue.

Lineman Rodeo: Safety and Speed The 2016 annual FMEA Lineman Competition — sponsored by OUC and held at the Orlando

rapi� change Airport Marriott Lakeside — gathered public power line workers from across Florida to

demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and

to place a spotlight on safety. Apprentices and journeymen vied for professional recognition, attended training courses and demonstrated their safe work practices.

Page 75

rapi� change

Uniting After the Pulse Tragedy OUC has long been committed to supporting

and snacks into their cars to drop off at blood

utility assistance for victims and their families

the community through volunteerism and

donation centers throughout Orange and

through OUC’s Project CARE program. On June

outreach, especially during times of crisis or

Seminole counties.

21, OUC’s Lighting Department donated time

natural disasters. But 2016 tested this commitment

By Monday morning, a dedicated group

to raise more than 50 banners emblazoned with

more than ever. When the mass shooting at

of employees comforted grieving families of

#OrlandoUnited on light poles in the SODO

Pulse nightclub shocked the world, OUC’s

victims arriving in town and helped them find

District, where the shooting occurred. OUC also

first-responder instinct kicked in, as a fleet of

hotel rooms. Later in the week, as the Victims

contributed $25,000 to the OneOrlando Fund for

employees mobilized quickly to help.

Assistance Center moved to Camping World

victims’ assistance and matched employee and

Stadium, employees continued to make lodging

retiree donations to the fund.

As news spread on Sunday, June 12, employees rallied to nearby Reliable Plaza, loading water

arrangements for affected families and provided

Page 76

2011–2023 Over four months, more than 300 employees were trained on CC&B through web-based courses, classroom training, self-directed practice and other planned activities. An “organizational

New Customer Information System Preps for the Future

change management” model also was implemented to help educate supervisors to provide support in their respective business units before, during and after the conversion.

While fireworks lit the Orlando sky on July 4, 2017, celebrations erupted across the Commission as OUC’s new customer information system, Oracle’s Customer Care & Billing (CC&B), went live. The system handled OUC’s day-to-day operations, touching all 246,000 electric and water customers — residential and commercial. The go-live was the culmination of Project Momentum, in which OUC switched from PeopleSoft Enterprise Revenue Management to CC&B. This massive effort took two and a half years, over 300,000 hours of work, and 30,000 hours of QA testing, and involved more than 200 OUC employees, contractors and third-party vendors. Departments across the Commission worked to ensure a smooth conversion, which required data conversion, integration, training, change management, infrastructure development, and internal and external communication.

A Proactive Approach to Keeping Customers Informed. OUC also launched a Proactive Alerts program to stay connected to customers. The system allows customers to receive timely outage information regarding electric and water services via phone, email or text. And system upgrades provided customers the ability to report an outage with a simple text message. Today, alerts are offered in English and Spanish.

rapi� change Page 77

rapi� change Clint Bullock: “Champion of Innovation & Community Trust” General Manager & CEO (2018–Present)

fter a nationwide


who continued to struggle

Clint Bullock, Vice


Delivery, as its next General

relies on power and water

served as an OUC Vice

recognized early on that

search, OUC named

financially due to the

President of Electric & Water

In an evolving society that

Manager & CEO. Bullock

more than ever, Bullock

President for more than

customer choice would be a

10 years, leading electric

key disrupter to plan for —

and water delivery operations

and he placed an emphasis

including engineering,

on striving to meet and

construction, maintenance

exceed expectations while

and operations of the

also delivering exceptional

transmission and distribution

value. With that focus, OUC

systems since 2012. His

has earned recent prestigious

tenure with the utility

recognitions, including a

included overseeing customer

national first-place finish

relations and sustainability,

awarded by J.D. Power in its

as well as strategic planning,

residential water customer

conservation and renewable

satisfaction survey in 2021


and the title of the “Most

The son of a lineman,

Trusted Electric Utility in the

Bullock is a second-generation

Nation” in 2020, 2022 and

OUC employee who worked

his way up from his first job as

2023, reflecting the results of

a summer student at OUC in 1988 and then

to working to continuously improve the

graduate of the University of Central Florida

Bullock also led the Electric Integrated

returned in 1989 as a full-time employee. A

organization’s safety culture.

with a degree in Business Administration,

Resource Plan, which aimed to create a

Administration from Rollins College.

result, OUC became the first utility in the

Bullock earned his Master of Business

Among his first priorities as CEO, Bullock

began a 100-day listening tour to hear from

OUC employees, customers and community members — with the goal of thoroughly

assessing the organization’s current state and envisioning its future. Building on

findings from that tour, Bullock then initiated work on OUC’s new strategic plan, which later become known as Connected 2025,

designed to position the organization for

long-term success. As part of that process,

he facilitated an enhanced, proactive focus on safety as a top priority — including the physical, mental and emotional health of

employees and others — and committed

roadmap to a clean energy future. As a

state to set clean energy goals — Net Zero

CO2 emission by 2050 with interim targets. And he led with resolve and compassion when faced with the unexpected — the COVID-19 pandemic — ensuring teams

had the resources necessary to continue

providing essential services during such a

a national customer survey

conducted by human behavior and analytics firm Escalent. In another Escalent study,

OUC was named a 2022 Environmental

Champion. Partnerships were also enhanced under Bullock’s leadership, with new

agreements secured that allowed OUC to leverage its expertise to deliver a unique portfolio of energy and water services,

like providing critical infrastructure, and

designing and building chilled water plants for clients including Orlando International Airport and Universal Orlando Resorts. With the utility industry in a period

challenging time, and mobilizing community

of transformation — at the threshold

care systems faced an unexpected shortage

water sources, and sustainability

support to conserve water when area health of liquid oxygen (LOX). In keeping with

of distributed energy, alternative

breakthroughs — Bullock continues to

rapi� change

OUC’s commitment to keep the community connected, Bullock championed the $12

million customer relief package and payment

assistance programs, helping customers

Page 78

drive OUC forward, embracing a new

vision for the future: providing innovative solutions and expanding as the partner of choice.

to 24 MW of back-up generation




Manage 12.4 kV emergency distribution facilities

Launching Connected 2025


Connected 2025 was intended to reinvent OUC’s mission, vision and values; take a strategic approach to strengthening OUC’s



connection to customers, employees and community; engage employees throughout the process; position OUC as a partner, collaborator and innovator; and balance the competing interests of

Install, operate OUC hosted focus groups and leveraged feedback gained during the 2020 Leadership Forum to begin implementing the new Connected 2025 strategic initiative. maintain SOLUTIONS A Renewed Sense of Purpose. An endeavor two yearsand in the making, Connected 2025 was refreshed and expanded in 2020. onsite floating The comprehensive strategy included ideas and insights gathered solar array from employee focus groups and feedback from Commissioners. reliability, sustainability, affordability and resiliency.

After synthesizing this valuable input, OUC’s leadership team updated its core values and outlined a new, enhanced strategic plan to position the utility for future success, including new mission and vision statements.


Install, operate and maintain 67 electric vehicle charging stations To be an innovative solutions provider

To provide exceptional value to our customers and community through the delivery of sustainable and reliable services and solutions.


and the partner of choice.

Strategies for Success. To achieve its vision, OUC developed

These projects will be featured at the new South Terminal experience through value-added services and sustainable, highly Complex and the Automated People Mover/Intermodal reliable and innovative solutions; second, to strengthen employee engagement through continuous improvement of OUC’s workplace, Facility, showcasing sustainability to the millions processes and organization; and third, to serve the community as a committed partner, sustainability leader and trusted corporate citizen. of travelers who visit Orlando each year. three strategies: first, to provide customers with an outstanding



Connected 2025 — OUC’s strategic initiative for enhancing connections to customers, employees and the community — positioned the utility for future success. As part of this plan and in furthering OUC’s decades-long commitment to sustainability, OUC was the first utility in Florida to set goals for reducing CO2 Emissions, pledging to achieve Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050. Connected 2025 also reaffirmed the need for investments in solar technology; energy storage; EV support and solutions; and efficiency and conservation efforts, and began to identify new and additional commitments. Page 79

rapi� change Pathway to a Clean Energy Future In 2019, OUC embarked on a comprehensive

This strategy directionally aligned with City of

Extending a Commitment to Energy Innovation. Under the Connected 2025

stakeholder engagement and 18-month planning

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2017 aspirational

process to develop its Electric Integrated

proclamation to achieve 100 percent renewable

strategic plan and as a key to achieving Net Zero

Resource Plan (EIRP), a 30-year roadmap to a

energy generation for Orlando by 2050.

goals, OUC also pledged to continue its

clean energy future. Historically, OUC had relied

The EIRP set in motion an ambitious overhaul

significant investments in clean energy. Building

on a diverse fuel mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear,

of OUC’s energy grid — calling for closing Stanton

on its previous commitment of $420 million to

solar and landfill gas. The EIRP defined how OUC

solar technology, OUC pledged to invest an

would generate and supply electric power in a

additional $90 million in energy storage. As part

way that balances affordability, reliability, resiliency

of these investments, OUC committed to

and sustainability through 2050.

providing 270 MW of solar energy to customers.

In furthering OUC’s decades-long commitment

OUC also committed $45 million to innovative

to sustainability, OUC was the first utility in Florida

electrification programs, including support for

to set goals for reducing CO2 emissions, pledging

e-buses, dealership programs and additional

to achieve Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050.

EV charging stations. Additionally, OUC planned

In October 2020, OUC took an important step

to invest $30 million in efficiency and conservation

toward finalizing the EIRP. Management released

efforts by 2030, including enhancements to low-

a recommendation to significantly reduce the

income programs and technology solutions.

use of coal no later than 2025, eliminating it no

These programs brought OUC’s total installed

later than 2027. This recommendation supported

Energy Center’s two coal plants by 2025 and 2027,

charging stations from 200 currently to nearly

OUC’s strategic plan for Net Zero CO2 Emissions

converting the units to natural gas and closing the

300 — maintaining Orlando’s position as one of

by 2050, as well as interim targets of 50 percent

converted units by 2040. The move accelerated

the Top 10 most-EV ready cities in the nation.

CO2 emissions reduction by 2030 and 75 percent

OUC’s clean energy plans years ahead of the

by 2040, compared to 2005 levels. OUC’s Board

planned lifespan of the power plants using coal,

commitment by meeting the goal to achieve

of Commissioners unanimously approved the EIRP

especially with the 2023 announcement that

1 percent of savings of retail sales in 2020.

in December 2020.

Stanton Unit 1 would be retired instead of the

OUC further reinforced its strategic

originally planned gas conversion.

The EIRP Process EIRPs (Electric Integrated Resource Plans) are standard, responsible, duediligence practices for utilities, typically undertaken about every five years with a 20-year horizon. However, OUC extended the time horizon to 30 years to explore the feasibility of the impact to 2050.

rapi� change

Stakeholder engagement was integral to the EIRP process. OUC sought input from stakeholders in Orlando, Orange County, Osceola County and

St. Cloud using an online survey and in-person community forums, as well as forums and interviews with commercial customers.

The process considered factors affecting power generation and transmission,

ranging from individual customer needs to broader issues, such as the utilization of existing assets and resources; advances in renewable energy technologies;

and potential events, such as government regulations and hurricanes, that could impact energy supply and demand.


National Spotlight Shines on Orlando and OUC OUC’s commitment to sustainability took

expand solar energy. At the time of Mayor

the national stage in February 2019, when

Bloomberg’s visit, OUC had already installed a

Michael Bloomberg, then UN Special Envoy

robust network of 165 charging stations around

for Climate Action and former Mayor of New

the area and installed nearly 19 MW of solar.

York City, highlighted Orlando as one of 25

Bloomberg joined Orlando Mayor Buddy

cities selected to participate in the American

Dyer and OUC’s General Manager & CEO,

Cities Climate Challenge through Bloomberg

Clint Bullock, for a news conference at OUC’s


Gardenia Innovation & Operations Center

The program provided a $2.5 million grant

where he also toured OUC’s Emerging

to provide technical assistance and resources.

Technologies Research and Development

Orlando planned to add 150 EV charging stations

Laboratory and got an up-close view of its

by 2020, further convert the city’s fleet of cars

400-kW solar canopy and 31.5-kW floating

and buses to electric, promote energy efficiency

solar array — two projects among the first of

in public and privately owned buildings, and

their kind in the nation.

OUC Honored for Net Zero Emissions Goal Following the EIRP and announcement of our new strategic direction, OUC was recognized in the Sierra Club’s new Clean Energy report card for its commitment to reaching 100% Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050, with interim goals in the decades between. OUC was the only utility in the Southeast to earn a “B” rating, ranking in the top eight of 79 utilities surveyed nationally. Only three utilities received an “A.” Page 81

rapi� change OUC, GOAA Expand Partnership In 2018, OUC and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) announced plans to broaden the scope of their relationship beyond traditional electric and water services, with OUC also providing chilled water, backup generation and onsite solar energy to Orlando International Airport. The enhanced 20-year partnership agreement included Terminal C’s 10,395-ton chilled water facility and a 28 MW backup generation facility, both of which OUC agreed to maintain and operate 24/7 — along with a 19,000-plus-squarefoot floating solar array, which is visible to travelers from the airport’s Automated People Movers. Through OUC’s partnership agreement with GOAA, incremental revenues from Terminal C operations were expected to surpass $11 million annually in the first three to five years of operations.

Page 82

Innovative Solar Solutions for All Solar has come a long way over the past decade, and nowhere is that transformation more evident than Central Florida. As part of the path to clean energy, OUC has committed to making solar affordable and accessible to all customers and has invested in finding more creative ways to use the sun’s power via a full array of solar solutions, including community solar, utility-scale, bi-facial, and floating solar.

Community Solar: Like Rooftop Solar, Without the Rooftop.

The Kenneth P. Ksionek Community Solar Farm, located at the Stanton Energy Center (SEC), was one of the first solar arrays in the country to sit atop a closed byproduct landfill at a power plant—and the facility more than doubled OUC’s solar capacity at the time of completion.

OUC’s Kenneth P. Ksionek Community Solar

Joining Industry Partners to Expand Solar Capacity. In 2019,

Farm opened in 2017, sitting atop a byproduct

OUC joined the Florida Municipal Power

landfill near a power plant. Located on 24 acres

Agency and other partners to break ground

at the Stanton Energy Center in East Orlando,

on the Florida Municipal Solar Project, a

the site’s nearly 40,000 solar panels provide

223.5 MW solar farm and one of the largest

13 MWs of energy — enough to power 2,100

municipal solar farms in the nation. OUC was the

homes. The farm more than doubled OUC’s

largest tenant of the project, purchasing 108.5

solar capacity, allowing commercial and

MW of the planned 223.5 MW, or enough for

residential customers to harness the energy

more than 20,000 residential customers.

Among the first of its kind in the nation,

of the sun whether they own or rent.

Preparing for the EV Influx Understanding early on that EVs were part of Orlando’s

sustainable future, OUC developed initiatives to support the influx with a robust network of EV charging stations. Over a 10-year

period, OUC installed more than 300 public stations and created

innovative programs to help our commercial customers install their

rapi� change own. In 2019, OUC signed the first Charge-It contract with the

Gateway Center in downtown Orlando to bring charging solutions to its clients.

Through the program, OUC owned, installed and maintained the

station while the customer paid a monthly fee over a contracted

period. OUC also launched another commercial EV option, Own-It, where OUC designed, procured and installed the station, but the

customer owned it outright. These options allowed OUC to meet customers’ needs as electrification gained momentum.

rapi� change Reliable During the COVID-19 Health Crisis In 2020, reliability took on new meaning in a year that brought unforeseen trials. Keeping the community connected — in good or challenging times — is a top priority at OUC. As Central Florida grappled with the public health, safety, economic and logistical problems of the COVID-19 pandemic, OUC worked hard to maintain essential services, provide proactive

Relieving Financial Burdens Amid a Pandemic In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OUC moved swiftly with a cumulative

$12.1 million in relief programs for customers. In mid-March 2020, OUC suspended

disconnections and waived late fees. In April, OUC Commissioners approved a historic

relief package that included a $2.6 million grant to Project CARE, the utility’s bill assistance program funded by OUC employees and customers, and administered by the Heart of Florida United Way, which provides emergency assistance to residential customers in danger of losing their utility service due to non-payment.

OUC also offered several payment options, promoting programs like the Power Pass pay-

as-you-go and enhanced payment arrangements to ensure customers knew all the resources that were available to them. Overall, the relief package helped nearly 60,000 customers. In addition, all customers received a fuel-rate reduction on their May 2020 power bills.

solutions, aid struggling families and focus on solutions and the community’s recovery. For the first time in nearly a century of service, OUC mobilized 60 percent of its work force to work remotely, while ensuring customers and partners still had the guidance, assistance and expertise needed to weather the unprecedented time. And as Central Florida adapted to working and learning remotely, OUC focused efforts to help customers cope with the higher costs of being home more often.

Collaborating to Conserve When Orlando’s health care systems faced an unexpected shortage of liquid oxygen (LOX) used in respiratory treatments for COVID-19 patients, OUC mobilized community support to address this critical supply challenge. The scarcity impacted OUC’s water treatment process, which uses

rapi� change

LOX to remove discoloration and odor in water pumped from the Lower Floridan aquifer. The local community came together to navigate this unprecedented LOX supply chain

disruption, with customers conserving water and OUC’s team modifying operations. Some of

OUC’s largest commercial customers did their part by limiting irrigation and reducing other uses of potable water. This collaborative response allowed Central Florida to meet the pandemic’s health care challenges without sacrificing the high quality of OUC water.

Page 84


2011–2023 A meter transmission unit uses soundwave technology to detect small leaks before they become large-scale problems.

Protecting Natural Water and Investing in Alternative Sources Responsible water usage goes beyond

facility located at the existing southeast booster

conservation. It’s also about building the

station near Orlando International Airport, which

infrastructure to maintain seamless service and

would serve the Lake Nona area. Over the long

meet a high standard of water quality. OUC

term, these changes will reinforce OUC’s well-

addressed this challenge on multiple fronts:

earned reputation for exceptional water — while

reducing wasted water, improving leak detection,

continuing to preserve Florida’s natural resources

exploring alternative water sources, building

for the future.

new production plants and diversifying water

Finding a Bright Idea in Dark Fiber As cities become smarter, both OUC and the

treatment methods. For decades, OUC invested millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades. The utility began implementing smart technology leak detection to proactively find leaks in the water distribution

greater Central Florida area will increasingly

system — as well as customer-side programs to

rely on infrastructure that can support high-

identify leaks on their end. In addition, upgrading

speed computing and communications. OUC

water meters across OUC’s service area with

developed a proactive, cost-effective solution to

Advanced Metering Infrastructure better

meet that need: dark fiber, a natural and cost-

equipped OUC to gather and analyze data to

effective extension to OUC’s existing network

set metrics, gauge performance, and more.

of fiber-optic cable. By laying dark fiber during

As part of an ongoing effort to seek alternative

power conduit installations, OUC future-proofed

water sources, OUC also researched the

its system for the years ahead — while also

feasibility of developing a brackish groundwater

creating value for the community. Through

alternative water supply at the Lower Lower

partnerships with the Dr. Phillips Packing District

Floridan Aquifer to supplement the water

and others, OUC leased its extra fiber capacity to

already sourced from more than 1,000 feet below

neighborhoods that need it, offsetting the cost of

ground. The project would consist of a new 10

installation and generating revenue.

million gallons per day (MGD) water treatment

Bridging the Gap to Clean Energy With a focus on pioneering new energy sources to meet the needs of customers and the community, OUC acquired the Osceola Generating Station (OGS) in 2023. Comprised of three separate turbines — called “peakers” — the 20-year-old Osceola plant was capable of being powered up or down in just minutes, making it a flexible solution for mitigating fluctuations in solar energy production. It also provided an extra layer of resilience to OUC’s grid because it was equipped with emergency back-up fuel in case of supply chain disruptions. In addition, OUC expects to retire SEC Unit 1 and supplement the grid with energy generated

Page 85

by natural gas at OGS.

rapi� change Revitalizing Neighborhoods, Supporting Families OUC’s Empowerment Zone — created

Instilling a Love of Reading. With the goal

in partnership with local nonprofit LIFT

of inspiring a love of reading in residents of all

Orlando — represents the utility’s commitment

ages, OUC and community partners set up four

to helping revitalize the 32805 ZIP code, the

Little Free Libraries in the Parramore neighborhood

most disadvantaged area in its service territory.

in May 2021. Installed near churches and youth

Through collaborations with government

centers, the libraries housed more than 300 books

and charitable groups, OUC is dedicated

donated by OUC employees.

to supporting education, opportunity, and sustainable infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods.

Renovating a Beloved Community Park. In June 2019, OUC and the City of Orlando embarked on major renovations to Lake Lorna Doone Park in the West Lakes neighborhood, starting with the OUC Solar Pavilion, a 4,800-square-foot pavilion capable of generating 30,000 watts of solar energy. Other new additions included H2OUC hydration stations, OUC-branded EV charging stations, a splash pad, basketball courts, an ADAaccessible playground, a community garden and an ecology walk.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Workforce. Launched in May 2021, OUC’s Empowerment 4 the Future Pre-Apprenticeship Program provided

Partnering on Affordable Housing.

training in carpentry, plumbing, electrical and building maintenance — trades with a median

Later in 2019, OUC partnered with the nonprofit-

annual salary of $50,000 — for residents of the

led Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund to

32805 ZIP code.

renovate 83 affordable housing units in the area. OUC invested $300,000 to overhaul outdated HVAC systems, install insulation in attics and walls, and add energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs – resulting in an estimated net savings of 162,945 kWh of electricity and 1,108,797 gallons of water annually.

Page 86

2011–2023 Committed to Inclusion In addition to dealing with a global pandemic,

from a variety of backgrounds. The employees

that it was listening to employees and the

the nation faced watershed moments as racial

shared their experiences, insights and ideas for a

community — and committed to an inclusive,

inequity and injustice were brought to the

more inclusive workplace.

respectful and equitable work environment.

forefront with calls for change. Reflecting on

With this enhanced understanding, OUC

OUC also joined a regional effort focused on

America’s ongoing social justice movement, OUC

engaged an expert third-party leader to help

creating opportunities for those long affected

General Manager & CEO Clint Bullock embarked

develop a three-to-five-year roadmap for Diversity,

by racial inequality and ensuring pathways for

on a Diversity & Inclusion Listening Tour.

Equity & Inclusion. This strategic planning took

participation in the economy. Nearly 100 CEOs

Together with Chief Employee Experience

place alongside the revamping of OUC’s Code

and business leaders, including Bullock, signed

Officer Latisha Thompson, Bullock took part in

of Conduct and ongoing review of its workplace

“Take the Pledge,” an initiative of the Orlando

virtual discussions with nearly 60 OUC employees

climate and policies. OUC sent a clear message

Economic Partnership.

OUC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team launched “Conversations With a Purpose” in February 2023 in honor of Black History Month. The first in a series, the event featured an employee panel discussing the importance of working in environments that foster an inclusive culture of belonging. With that goal in mind, the DEI team also produced communications collateral for greater awareness and education for the broader OUC team.

OUC’s Code of Conduct OUC sent a clear message that it was listening to employees and the community — and committed to an inclusive, respectful and equitable work environment.

rapi� change Page 87

Electrifying Public Transit OUC partnered with the City of Orlando and LYNX, Central Florida’s mass transit provider, to electrify public transportation in Central Florida — with the first zero-emission LYNX e-bus arriving in Downtown Orlando in October 2020. LYNX received a $1.9 million Low or No Emission grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase or lease zeroemission and low-emission buses. This grant announcement came after OUC Commissioners approved a partnership with LYNX in 2019 for the two companies to work together to pilot electric buses. Expanding its mission to electrify Orlando, OUC assisted in procuring charging stations to help LYNX deploy seven battery electric buses to run on the LYMMO Grapefruit, Lime and North Quarter lines, bringing the total number of electric buses to eight. In the first year of service, these e-buses spared the environment 101 tons of CO2 emissions, compared with conventional diesel-powered

buses. Ultimately half of the LYNX fleet, 150 buses, will be electric, and all 14 LYMMO vehicles are battery operated.

Page 88

rapi� change

2011–2023 OUCooling’s team maintains and operates the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Terminal C’s 10,395-ton chilled water facility and a 28MW backup generation facility.

Putting Sustainability to Work at OUC’s St. Cloud Campus OUC expanded its footprint in St. Cloud to

Combining state-of-the-art technology and

ensure it could meet increasing customer

sustainability, the buildings use half the energy

demand as the Osceola County city underwent

and 42 percent less water than conventional

a growth spurt. OUC has been the city’s electricity

facilities. Sustainable features include rooftop

Keeping Orlando Tourism Cool

provider since 1997 and

solar panels, a floating

has an agreement to

solar array, high-

continue in that role until

efficiency water

In 2022, 25 years after OUC’s first chiller

at least 2042.

fixtures, rainwater

plant came online, the utility added two major

In 2022, OUC and

harvesting tanks,

customers — Orlando International Airport

the City of St. Cloud


and Universal Studios’ Epic Universe — to its

commemorated the


OUCooling portfolio. With these new additions,

groundbreaking of

walking and biking

the 24-acre St. Cloud

trails, and EV charging

OUCooling — which provides economical air

Operations &


Maintenance Center,

Phase 1 of the

the first net-zero energy

project included land

campus in Florida built for a utility. The

development and construction of a 55,000-square-

$63.6 million campus aligns with OUC’s and

foot warehouse and a 22,000-square-foot fleet

the City of St. Cloud’s shared commitment to

maintenance facility with service bays, parts

renewable energy, and the site includes space

stores, EV fleet charging and fueling stations,

for a future electric substation.

and a vehicle wash area.

Page 89

conditioning solutions for some of the largest commercial properties in the area — serves seven districts, with locations on International Drive, Downtown Orlando, Sheraton Vistana Resort at Lake Buena Vista, The Mall at Millenia and Lake Nona’s Medical City.

rapi� change Preparing for the Unexpected

Resilience and Recovery

Six weeks after Ian, the community faced another

Double Trouble: Matthew and Irma

unforeseen challenge: Hurricane Nicole, a rare late-

Hurricane Matthew barreled toward Florida in

season storm. Downgraded from a Category 1

October 2016. It ultimately passed east of Central

system to a tropical storm as it moved inland on

Florida, leaving about 39,000 OUC customers

November 10, Nicole’s hours-long, gusting winds left

without electricity – but the utility’s prompt

just over 28,000 OUC customers without power and

response saw power fully restored in three days.

caused four water main breaks due to entangled tree

Nearly a year later, Hurricane Irma, a Category

roots pulling on water pipes, eventually causing them

3 storm, plowed through the middle of the state,

to crack.

delivering a much heavier blow. Nearly eight

Within 24 hours, OUC’s line crews substantially

straight hours of tropical- and hurricane-force

restored electricity to impacted customers, and, by

winds caused unprecedented damage to the OUC grid, including downed feeders and poles, substation equipment in need of repair, and a massive number of fallen trees. More than 60

the following day, OUC’s water distribution crews

Restoration After Unprecedented Flooding

percent of OUC customers lost power — but

In September 2022, Hurricane Ian’s record-

OUC restored it 4–7 days faster than investor-

setting downpour caused devastating floods

owned utilities in the area.

throughout Florida. While underground

repaired three of the water main breaks without disrupting water service to residents.

distribution lines kept electric service uninterrupted in downtown Orlando and at major hospitals, disrupted power lines left approximately 97,560 OUC customers without power. Prioritizing circuits with critical facilities, OUC’s teams worked tirelessly to get customers back online, all while continued flooding complicated these efforts. Of all the outages incurred during the storm, 92 percent were restored within 48 hours — and within 96 hours, all OUC customers who could receive power had the lights back on.

Extending a Helping Hand Over the years, OUC’s mutual aid partnerships have

been a pivotal resource in storm recovery. When Ian

impacted Florida in 2022, 162 mutual aid line techs and 49 mutual aid tree-trimmers joined OUC employees in helping customers rebuild.

rapi� change And anytime disaster struck, OUC returned the favor.

In 2017, the utility sent teams to support storm-ravaged Puerto Rico in recovering from Hurricane Maria; and during the busy 2020 storm season, it responded to

mutual aid requests from utilities in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi following Hurricanes Laura, Sally, Delta

and Zeta. Most recently, after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida’s Big Bend area, OUC sent crews to assist with power

Page 90

restoration in Tallahassee and Greenville for 10 days.


2011–2023 Building a Hub for EV Adoption Eagerly awaited by Central Florida’s growing

hub is conveniently accessible to EV users living

Parramore community. Totaling the numbers

number of EV drivers, OUC’s Robinson Mobility

near downtown, as well as those who travel to or

in 2023, OUC had installed more than 300

ReCharge Hub opened in June 2023, providing

through it.

EV charging stations throughout its service

access to high-speed charging stations. One of

In addition, OUC secured a grant to develop


the largest EV charging facilities in Florida, the

a second hub for high-speed EV charging

Also on the horizon is a potential Orlando

Robinson site featured six 240 kW and 15 120 kW

near the Orange County Convention Center.

International Airport Hub, poised to support

Level 3-rated DC chargers capable of recharging

This site offered three chargers initially, with

not only Florida residents, but a rising number

all battery-powered vehicles that accept direct-

space for up to 12 more in the future. These

of EV rentals. Local rental companies are

current fast charging. Located on Robinson

locations supplement the 100 chargers OUC

expected to rent and charge an estimated

Street between the SunRail tracks and I-4, the

activated in April 2021, including two in the

14,000 rental cars by 2025.

Located on Robinson Street between the SunRail tracks and I-4, OUC’s Robinson Mobility ReCharge Hub opened in June 2023.

Page 91

rapi� change Committed to Excellence Earning the Role of Most Trusted Brand In a national survey by analytics firm Escalent, OUC was honored as a “Most Trusted Brand” among the country’s energy providers. OUC placed first in the residential category of the 2022 Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement study, based on customer focus, community support, communications effectiveness, reliable quality, environmental dedication and reputation. The recognition came after OUC debuted on the Most Trusted Brand index in 2018 and claimed the top score in the 2020 survey among the country’s electric utilities. In another Escalent study, OUC was named a 2022 Environmental Champion for the 6th consecutive year, scoring the most points among electric peers for “environmental dedication.” OUC also received the 2022 Customer Champion Award for ranking first among all electric utilities nationally in Escalent’s Engaged Customer Relationship Index. Highlighting OUC’s commitment to deliver the highest quality, best tasting water to customers, J.D. Power awarded OUC a prestigious national first-place finish in its residential water customer satisfaction survey in 2021.

rapi� change

Page 92



23 0 2 IN

2011–2023 OUC Turns 100 OUC was honored for a century of reliable

every day to fulfill its mission of sustainability,

service to Central Florida with a proclamation

affordability and reliability … and an enduring

declaring “OUC 100th Anniversary Day” in an

commitment to progress.

announcement made by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on June 26, 2023 at Orlando City Hall. From serving 2,795 customers in 1923 to more

During OUC’s earliest years, reliability was focused on providing services to a rapidly growing city. While that is still true today, the definition

than a quarter of a

of reliability has

million customers in

expanded over

2023, OUC, now the

this past century to

14th largest municipal

include a relentless

utility in the nation

commitment to

and the 2nd largest

service through

in the state, has

storms, recessions,

played an integral

a depression, and

role in supporting

the pandemic.

the growth of Central

It also includes

Florida by investing in


cutting-edge energy

the OUC team,

generation and water delivery innovations, all while

community and shared natural resources; nurturing

meeting the community’s demand for quality and

the power of imagination and innovation to


provide sustainable, affordable energy and water

OUC has had an undeniable impact on the

solutions; creating jobs and ensuring that dollars

changing face of Orlando and Central Florida

spent on OUC services are reinvested in our

and, in looking to the future, will continue working

community; and being a catalyst for change.

Page 99

Record-Breaking Golf Tournament Helps Local Charities Since 1995, the OUC Charity Golf Tournament had

raised more than $621,000 for 45 local nonprofit

agencies. To kick off the centennial year, the utility

launched the largest-ever tournament which raised more than $100,000 — the most in the history

of the event — for ten Orlando-area nonprofit organizations, including A Gift for Teaching,

Central Florida Community Arts and the National Entrepreneur Center, to name a few.

commissioners T H E

D* . T. BLAN JUDGE Went 1923 Presid

J. F. ANGE* Member 1923-24

NAME Judge W.T. Bland J.F. Ange Judge L.C. Massey H.L. Beeman Alvin Jefferson Nye H.H. Dickson W.R. O'Neal L.B. Fort Mayor L.M. Autrey Dr. H.G. Edwards Turner Evans Mayor James L. Giles J. Merle McElroy Mayor S.Y. Way George F. Brass H.L. McDonald H.C. Babcock Mayor V.W. Estes C.P. Dickinson E.W. Yandre C.G. Magruder H.N. Dickson L.B. McLeod J.T. Branham Mayor Wm. Beardall Clarence A. Johnson Dr. H.M. Beardall Dr. J.S. McEwen W.A. Hutchinson

H. H . Mem DICKSO Presid ber 1923-3N* ent 19 0 28-30

JUDGE L. C. MASSEY* Member 1923-24

EOD McL 1946 L. B. er Since 47 b 19 Memresident P

. BEARDALL MAYOR WM ce 1941 Member Sin


H. L. BEEMAN* Member 1923-24

MEMBER 1923 1923-1924 1923-24 1923-24 1923-1926 1923-1931 1924-1928 1924-1932 1926-1928 Dec. 1926-Dec. 1934 1928-1939 1929-1931 1931-1934 1932-1934, 1938-1940 1933-1936 1935-1938 1935-1938 1935-1937 1939-1944 1939-1942 1940-1943 1945 1946-1949 1943-1954 1941-1952 1944-1955 1937-1948 1949-1953 1949-Aug. 1952


1928-1929-1930 1924-1925-1926-1927

1931-1932-1933-1934 1937

1936 1935 1938 1941-1943-1944 1942

1947-1948 1945-1949-1953 1946-1950 1939-1940 1952 1951

J. T. BRAN Member Sin HAM President 19ce 1943 44-45

N C. A. JOHNSO 1944 Member Since 6 President 194


ARDALL DR. H. M. BEce 1937 Member Sin 9-40 President 193

Page 94

NAME MEMBER E.A. Stebbins Aug. 1952-1954 E.L. Brewton 1953-1960 Mayor J. Rolfe Davis 1953- Nov. 1956 A.P. Clark 1955-1962 R.T. Overstreet 1955-1962 S.M. Heasley 1956-1963 Mayor Robert S. Carr Nov. 1956-Jan. 1967 Mayor Carl T. Langford March 7, 1967-Oct. 31, 1980 Lloyd Gahr 1961-1964 E.G. Langston 1962-May 1969 Wallace Mercer 1963-1968 Tom Denmark 1964-1971 Richard H. Lawrence 1965-June 12, 1973 Sam Wilkins 1969-1978 Richard W. Simpson May 1969-1976 Henry T. Meiner 1972-1979 Grover C. Bryan June 12, 1973-1980 Charles J. Hawkins 1977-Oct. 18, 1983 Grace C. Lindblom 1979-1986 H.E. Gene Johnson 1980 resigned July 7, 1981 Mayor Bill Frederick Nov. 2, 1980-Oct. 31, 1992 W.M. Sanderlin April 14, 1981-March 14, 1989 I. Richard Weiner Aug. 12, 1981-Aug. 16, 1983 James H. Pugh Jr. Sept. 15, 1983-1991 Royce B. Walden Nov. 30, 1983-March 1992 James B. Greene Jan. 1, 1987-1988 Jerry Chicone Jr. Dec. 13, 1988-March 9, 1993 Susan McCaskill-Little April 11, 1989-March 9, 1993 Richard L. Fletcher Jr. July 9, 1991-Dec. 31, 2000 Mel R. Martinez Jan. 1, 1992-Aug. 1997 Ray D. McCleese March 27, 1992-Dec. 31, 2001 Mayor Glenda E. Hood Nov. 1, 1992-Feb. 25, 2003 Carol P. Wilson, Ph.D. April 23, 1993-Dec. 31, 2001 Tico Perez Dec. 9, 1997-May 15, 2006 Tommy Boroughs Jan. 1, 2001-Dec. 31, 2008 Lonnie C. Bell Jan. 1, 2002-Feb. 2008 Katie Porta Jan. 1, 2003-Dec. 31, 2010 Mayor Buddy Dyer Feb. 26, 2003-Present Maylen Dominguez May 15, 2006-July 2015 Dan Kirby, AIA, AICP 2008-Dec. 2017 Craig McAllaster, Ed.D. 2009-June 2013 Linda Ferrone 2011-Sept. 2016 Gregory Lee Aug. 2013-Dec. 2022 Cesar Calvet March 2016-Present Britta Gross March 2017-Present Larry Mills March 2018-Present Roger Chapin Jan. 2023-Present

PRESIDENT 1954 1955-1959 1956-1960 1957-1961 1958-1962

1963 1964-1968 1965 1966-1969 and until July 1, 1970 1967 and from July 1, 1970-1971 1973-1977 1972-1976 1974-1978 1975-1979 1980 1981-1982

1998 Commission


Ray D. McCleese Commission Pre sident

Tico Perez Commissioner

Dr. Carol P. Wilson First Vice President

The Honorable Glenda Hood Mayor-Commissi oner

Richard L. Fletch er, Jr. Second Vice Pre sident

Robert C. Haven , P.E. General Manager and Chief Executive Officer

1983-1984 1985-1988-1989 1986-1987 1990-1991-1992


1993-Aug. 23, 1994 Aug. 23, 19941995-1996 1997-1998 1999-2000 2001-2002-2003 2004-2005 2006-2007 2008-2009-2010







2011-2013 March 2013-2015 March 2015-2016 October 2016-2019 March 2019-2021 March 2021-Present

Page 95

attributions A T T R I B U T I O N S number of sources — including personal interviews with key OUC personnel — were used in the preparation of this book. They include: Bacon, Eve. Orlando A Centennial History, Volumes I and II. Chuluota, Florida; The Mickler House, 1975. Blackman, William Fremont, Ph.D., LL.D., History of Orange County, Florida. Chuluota, Florida; The Mickler House, 1973 [c1927]. Evans, Stephen. Orlando Then and Now. San Diego, California; Thunder Bay Press, 2007. Hilt, David W., P.E. “Northeast Blackout Impacts and Actions and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.” North American Electric Reliability Council. Hood, Mayor Glenda E, and Bachman, Bill. Orlando: The City Beautiful. Memphis, Tennessee; Towery Publishing, Inc., 1997. Luff, Harry. Personal Interview. 16 May 2008. Luff, Harry. “Orlando Utilities Commission: Recollections by Harry Luff, Jr. General Manager-Retired.” March 2006. Minkel, J.R., “The 2003 Northeast Blackout – Five Years Later.” Scientific American, August 13, 2008. Orlando Utilities Commission Annual Reports, Newsletters and Publications, 1923-2010. Orlando Sentinel articles, as annotated in the text. Porter, Tara Mosier, Ph.D. et al. Historic Orange County: The Story of Orlando and Orange County. San Antonio, Texas: Historical Publishing Network, 2009. Stanton, Curtis H. Personal Interview. 16 May 2008. Stone, Louis E. Personal Interview. 16 May 2008. Stone, Louis E. Speech at Stanton Energy Center. 4 April 1985. Stone, Louis E. Written in Stone: The Life and Times of Lou Stone. Family Heritage Publishers, 2010. Photo Credits: Orange County Regional History Center The following photographs used in this document are courtesy of the Orange County Regional History Center. We appreciate their help and expertise in researching and locating these photos. • Cover and Page 5: Downtown Orlando, 1930-1950. • Pages 1 and 2: Orlando’s first power plant/Orlando Water and Light, 1901. • Page 2 – First utility electric pole, 1887. • Page 4 – Judge John Cheney. • Page 6 – Downtown Orlando, 1930-1950. • Page 6 – OUC’s new office building, 1936. • Page 11 – Orlando parades during World War II. • Page 16 – Glenn L. Martin Company. Other Photo Credits: • Page 15 – Man’s landing on the moon, ASII-40-5875. Courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. • Page 23 – Walt Disney World® opening day. Copyright 1971, Gary Gimee. • Page 37 – Entrance to Universal Orlando® Resort courtesy of Universal Orlando® Resort.

Page 96


OUC Water Service Area OUC Electric Service Area Water Service Area: 200 square miles City of Orlando/Orange County Electric Service Area: 244 square miles St. Cloud Electric Service Area: 150 square miles

O U C FAC I L I T I E S ADMINISTRATION, COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER SERVICE Reliable Plaza / 100 W. Anderson St. Administration, Customer Service and Call Centers Pershing / 6003 Pershing Ave. Electric Operations, Electric and Water 24-hour Operations Center, Energy Delivery, Customer Service Call Center

GENERATION Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center Stanton Unit 1 Coal-Fired – 68.55 percent ownership (480 MW) Stanton Unit 2 Coal-Fired – 71.59 percent ownership (494 MW) Stanton Unit A Combined Cycle – 28 percent ownership (673 MW) Stanton Unit B Combined Cycle – 100 percent ownership (313 MW)

Gardenia / 3800 Gardenia Ave. Water Operations, Customer Service Call Center, Water Quality Lab, Innovation Center

Indian River Plant Indian River Combustion Turbines (IRP – A&B) – 48.8 percent ownership (37 MW) Indian River Combustion Turbines (IRP – C&D) – 79 percent ownership (112 MW)

Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center / 5100 S. Alafaya Trail Power Production

Lake Highland Plant (closed)

St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center / 2070 Hickory Tree Rd. St.Cloud, FL 34771

OTHER GENERATION Osceola Generating Station (OGS) 1, 2 & 3 – 100 percent ownership (510 MW; 170 MW each)

Lake Ivanhoe Plant (closed)

Coal-fired McIntosh Unit 3 – Closed Nuclear Crystal River Unit 3 – Closed St. Lucie Unit 2 – 6.09 percent ownership (62 MW) OTHER FACILITIES 29 electric substations / 7 water plants / 8 chilled water plants

Reliable Plaza 100 W. Anderson St. Orlando, FL 32801 Phone: 407.423.9100 Fax: 407.236.9616 www.ouc.com

© 2023 Orlando Utilities Commission

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