MIAMI - Mayor Manny Diaz has announced a new energy initiative that proposes to use federal economic stimulus funds to make a $200 million investment in smart grid technology and renewable energy in Miami over the next two years. The initiative, called “Energy Smart Miami,” has the potential to be the most extensive and comprehensive 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 systems and appliances.

Energy Smart Miami represents an alliance of local government and national energy company leaders. Joining the mayor for the announcement were FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lewis Hay III, GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John T. Chambers, and Silver Spring Networks Chairman, CEO and President Scott Lang.

Florida Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of FPL Group, is leading the strategy and deployment of smart grid technologies for the project. Florida Power & Light provides electricity to 4.5 million customers in the state of Florida, including more than 1 million in Miami-Dade County. GE, a leader in power generation, distribution, and management technology, will supply key components of the project, which include smart meters and may extend to advanced applications and smarter control systems. Silver Spring Networks, a leading provider of networking solutions for the electric grid, will provide open standards-based, secure wireless network communications. Cisco, a leader in networking technologies, 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.

“Through Energy Smart Miami, FPL will significantly accelerate and expand our capital investment program to help Miami-Dade County customers more quickly realize the benefits of an intelligent electrical infrastructure. The city of Miami is a natural focal point given the mayor’s longtime environmental advocacy and leadership,” said FPL Group’s Hay. “However, Energy Smart Miami represents the beginning, not the end, as it is the cornerstone of a $700 million investment in smart meters to every residential FPL customer in Florida.”

The initiative includes a wide range of technologies to improve electricity delivery and help customers better manage their electricity usage. Highlights include:

• Smart-Grid Automation and Communications: 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.

• Smart Meters: 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. Smart meters will also provide FPL with information that will help it to operate more efficiently and enhance reliability.

• Renewable Energy Integration: Several local universities and schools will receive solar power installations to help meet energy needs with renewable technologies. Battery installations will enable some solar locations to store power for use during times of peak demand.

• Consumer Technology Trials: 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. The initial trials in approximately 1,000 households in Miami-Dade will test several different systems, including:

- In-home energy displays or “eco-panels” to help manage electrical loads and lower power use during peak periods.

- Smart appliances that can communicate with smart meters to reschedule high-energy functions or switch to a lower-consumption mode during peak demand periods.

- Programmable and smart-meter-controllable thermostats.

- Demand management and demand response software that will manage consumer appliances, lighting, and other devices using smart meters.

Contingent on receiving federal stimulus funds support, Energy Smart Miami could begin later this year and be completed by the end of 2011.

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Publication date:05/04/2009