Mayor Manny Diaz joins with FPL, GE, Cisco Systems and Silver Spring Networks to launch ‘Energy Smart Miami’, a model electricity system for American cities and the cornerstone of a broader $700 million statewide investment.
Mayor Manny Diaz announced a groundbreaking energy initiative that proposes to use federal economic stimulus funds to help spur a $200 million investment in “smart grid” technology and renewable energy over the next two years.
The initiative, called “Energy Smart Miami,” would help Miami-Dade County consumers save money by giving them more choices over how they consume and conserve electrical power. It would also generate near-term demand for “green collar jobs” to support its implementation, while further solidifying Miami’s national leadership in championing the responsible environmental practices needed to address the longer-term challenge of addressing climate change, which poses a significant threat to Florida and its coastal regions.
Energy Smart Miami has the potential to be the most extensive and holistic smart grid implementation in the country. The backbone of Energy Smart Miami will be the deployment of more than 1 million advanced wireless “smart meters” to every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. These meters will give Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers more information and control over their electricity usage while also providing FPL with information that will enhance system efficiency and reliability. Implementation of the smart meters will be based on open network architecture, allowing other providers to develop and deploy new applications that could, for example, help consumers better manage the electricity usage of their air conditioning and appliances.
Florida Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of FPL Group and the nation’s No. 1 utility in energy efficiency programs, is leading the strategy and deployment of smart grid technologies for the project. Florida Power & Light provides electricity to 4.5 million customer accounts in the state of Florida, including more than 1 million in Miami-Dade County. GE will supply key components of the project, which include smart meters and may extend to advanced applications and smarter control systems. Silver Spring Networks will provide field proven, open standards-based, secure wireless network communications. Cisco will help design and implement a secure and intelligent communications platform within the county’s transmission and distribution grid and provide customers with home energy management information and controls.
Energy Smart Miami is estimated to generate demand for 800 to 1,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly involved in the deployment, during the two-year implementation period. The initiative includes a wide range of technologies that improve electricity delivery and help customers better manage their electricity usage. More like the Internet than an electric network, the new smart grid system will connect smart meters, high-efficiency transformers, digitized substations, power generation and other equipment through a centralized information and control system. This will continuously monitor status, identify and automatically fix or dispatch teams to outages and provide useful information to improve reliability, efficiency and productivity from power generation through consumption.
Through the Energy Smart Miami initiative, smart meters will be installed in more than 1 million homes and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. Over the next five years, FPL intends to expand the project to a total of more than 4 million homes in Florida. The cost of expanding smart meters outside of Miami-Dade County represents a $500 million investment in addition to the $200 million proposed in support of Energy Smart Miami. Smart meters serve as a key interface in a system that combines a number of elements – intelligent meters, a two-way communications network using open standards, and sophisticated operating systems and databases. As a result, customers will be able to go online and monitor how much energy they have used by the month, day or hour. With this information, FPL customers will have the ability to lower their electric bills by giving them substantially more information to make decisions about their electricity consumption. Ultimately, smart meters and the network that connects them will provide consumers with the ability to see and manage individual devices consuming electricity in their home such as air conditioning and appliances.
Several local universities and schools will receive solar power installations to help meet energy needs with renewable, non-polluting technologies. Battery installations will enable some solar locations to store power for use during times of peak demand. 300 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be added to the FPL fleet serving Miami-Dade County. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) will be powered through approximately 50 new charging stations.
Using the capabilities of installed smart meters, the initiative will conduct studies of additional consumer communications and empowerment systems to determine which delivers the greatest energy savings and consumer satisfaction.