JUNO BEACH, Fla., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company has successfully completed its Department of Energy-supported grid modernization projects and the installation of 4.5 million smart meters in its 35-county service area. FPL President Eric Silagy announced the two milestones during a celebratory event today at FPL's grid monitoring center in Palm Beach County that was attended by Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary of Energy for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, local dignitaries and business officials.
"This is one of the most ambitious projects that has ever been undertaken in the country and definitely one of the most ambitious projects that FPL has undertaken," said Silagy. "Completing the installation of the 4.5 million smart meters and the deployment of smart grid technology throughout our service territory is making it possible for us to improve our service reliability, prevent outages and detect problems, while giving customers more control over the energy they use."
"In 2009, we began the deployment of state-of-the-art smart grid technologies as part of our commitment to building a smarter, more reliable and more efficient electrical infrastructure," explained Silagy. "While we celebrate the installation of 4.5 million meters nine months ahead of schedule, at FPL we never stop working to deliver reliable, affordable electricity for our customers."FPL was one of only six utilities in the U.S. to receive a $200 million grant from the DOE to help fund one of the largest, most comprehensive grid modernization projects. Now, four years later, with an additional $600 million investment from FPL, the installation of these smart grid technologies place FPL among the first utilities to complete its commitment. "Situational awareness plays an important role in improving the reliability and resiliency of the grid," said Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the Department of Energy. "DOE funding of this FPL project and others is helping utilities and system operators across the nation get a faster, more accurate picture of the status of the grid, allowing them to respond more quickly and efficiently when disruptions occur." FPL's investments in a more efficient electric grid provide customers with tangible benefits today while laying the foundation for a host of future benefits and operational efficiencies such as:
- Real-time information on the health and performance of the electric grid
- Ability to identify outages and diagnose their causes, so FPL can get to work restoring power faster
- Verification that power was restored
- Early warning of power issues to enable rerouting electricity around trouble spots, thus confining outages to smaller areas
- Remote communications with FPL through advanced technology
- Greater information for FPL customers about their energy use so they can make smart decisions about conserving electricity
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