GE Digital Energy’s state-of-the-art Smart Grid technology was selected by the city and detailed of the deployment are currently being finalized. Leesburg is helping fund the upgrade with a $12 million Smart Grid grant through the United States Department of Energy.
Kalv explains: “All of this is in preparation for signing a contract with them to move forward. We anticipate and we hope to get that contract finalized sometime before September 1. What’s exciting about all of this is that it’s now out of the paper stage and we’re talking about hardware, software, services and getting things rolling.”
Leesburg officials were prompted to adopt smart meters after they began examining the city’s wholesale power supply costs four years ago.
Kalv recalls: “We came to a very early realization that the only way we were going to control the main component of our power supply costs was to work together with our customers and to solicit their help at reducing their electric usage on peak hours.”
The city adopting conservation policies such as using emergency generators at its largest facilities during peak times, when power plants have to work the hardest and charge the most for electricity.
According to the Daily Commercial, “Leesburg Regional Medical Center joined in December 2009, followed by Publix Supermarkets, and by the end of 2010, the three locations have saved more than $312,000 in wholesale electric costs charged by power plants, while Leesburg saved another $894,899.”
In addition installing smart meters, Leesburg also plans to deploy around 4,000 energy management systems to customers interested in programming their appliances to operate during off-peak hours.