Miami proposes $200 million smart grid initiative


Manny Diaz,
Mayor of Miami
Miami, FL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 22, 2009 – A groundbreaking 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 has been announced by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

The initiative, “Energy Smart Miami,” would help Miami-Dade County consumers save money by giving them more choices over how they consume and conserve electrical power. It would also generate near-term demand for “green collar jobs” to support its implementation, while further solidifying Miami’s national leadership in championing the responsible environmental practices needed to address the longer term challenge of addressing climate change, which poses a significant threat to Florida and its coastal regions.

Energy Smart Miami, led by Florida Power & Light (FPL), is an alliance between local government and industry suppliers GE, Cisco Systems and Silver Springs Networks.

The project is also being supported by South Florida native Carol Browner, the former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator who now serves as President Barack Obama’s point person on energy and climate change, and U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek of Miami, among others.
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 County. 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.
“The Energy Smart Miami Initiative is an investment in the future of our city, our residents and our neighborhoods, and is an important step toward creating the green jobs of the future and building a clean energy economy,” said Mayor Diaz. “I look forward to working with our partners in the private sector to create a model of putting the economic stimulus plan in action and breaking ground right away.”

Energy Smart Miami is estimated to 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 including smart grid automation and communications, the more than one million smart meters – to be expanded to a total of more than 4 million homes in Florida over the next five years – and the addition of 300 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to the FPL fleet serving Miami-Dade County. Several local universities and schools will receive solar power installations. Trials will be conducted, initially in approximately 1,000 households in Miami-Dade, of in-home energy displays, smart appliances, programmable and smart meter controllable thermostats, and demand management and demand response software that will manage consumer appliances, lighting and other devices using smart meters.
The partners comprising Energy Smart Miami’s expert implementation team have worked together extensively to ensure that the initiative meets President Obama’s criteria as a “shovel-ready” project to qualify for matching funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Contingent on receiving this federal support, Energy Smart Miami could begin later this year and be completed by the end of 2011.