A little federal stimulus money goes a long way: Miami, Fla., announced yesterday plans to turn its electricity grid into a Smart Grid with $200 million worth of federal funds. NEMA member GE will hook up with Florida Power & Light and Cisco Systems to place a million advanced smart meters in buildings throughout the region. The smart meters will allow FPL to remotely manipulate energy-using devices in residential and commercial buildings to limit energy peaks.
Funds will also be used for sensors on transformers, power lines, and switches along the T&D network to monitor in real time the condition of the equipment — and help prevent blackouts in the process. And, considering that south Florida has plenty of sun, that FPL is the nation's largest wind-farm producer, and that GE is the nation's largest wind-farm manufacturer, "Energy Smart Miami" (as the project is dubbed) will dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy available to the area.
While there are other tools and systems we're also pushing for incorporation into Smart Grid — such as features to protect the grid from cyberterrorists — hats off to Miami for wasting no time in modernizing its grid.