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Florida Power & Light (FPL) Company reports that it has established one of the United States’ first full-scale smart grids, networking 4.5 million smart meters and more than 10,000 other devices in its 35 country service area.

FPL president Eric Silagy says, “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. 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.”

Four years ago FPL was one of just six American utilities to receive a $200 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund a comprehensive grid modernization project. The utility also invested an additional $600 million.

Silagy recounts, “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. 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.”

Patricia Hoffman, the DOE’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, adds: “Situational awareness plays an important role in improving the reliability and resiliency of the grid. 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 says the smart grid’s benefits include real-time information; ability to identify outages and diagnose their causes; verification that power was restored; early warning of power issues; remote communications with FPL; and more information for FPL customers about their energy use.

Silay adds: “This technology truly is transforming how we create, transport, and deliver electricity. While we’re marking important milestones today, this is just the beginning. We’re continuing to find new ways to use this technology to enhance the everyday value we provide our customers for many years to come.”

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