OUC History Book

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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.

Helping Victims of Hurricane Andrew. During the

Saturday, March 13, the “Storm

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

Gardenia Operations Center.

Combustion Turbines Added to Indian River Plant

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.

In November 1992, OUC added a pair of

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

Within two days, volunteers

combustion turbine units at the Indian River

had filled 10,000 one-gallon

hours of August 2, 1995, Hurricane Erin roared through

Plant (IRP). With three steam generating units

bottles of pure OUC water

Florida, creating a level of service interruption that

and two small 35-MW combustion turbine units

and sent them to the disaster

eclipsed both the Christmas freeze of 1989 and the 1993

in place since 1989, IRP represented 57 percent

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

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.

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.,

Charged up about using energy wisely and reducing harmful auto emissions, OUC

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.

tested its first electric-powered vehicles in

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

1993 — taking its conservation program

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

“on the road” in a minivan outfitted with

economic development in the region.

community that would become home to a Medical

utility is vital for economic development. You

City housing the University of Central Florida

cannot have growth without a utility that can

rooftop solar panels.

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

In 1994, OUC and Orange County signed a new

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

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

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encourage residential development.”