Miami Proposes Smart Grid Initiative

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz announced an 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 Energy Smart Miami initiative would help Miami-Dade County consumers save money by giving them more choices in how they consume and conserve electrical power. It also would generate near-term demand for “green collar” jobs to support its implementation.

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. These meters will give Florida Power & Light Co. (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.

FPL provides electricity to 4.5 million customer accounts in the state of Florida, including more than 1 million in Miami-Dade. 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, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of networking solutions for the electric grid, will provide field-proven, open standards-based, secure wireless network communications. Cisco, San Jose, Calif., a provider of 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.

“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,” said Lewis Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group, which owns FPL.

FPL estimates Energy Smart Miami will 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.

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