Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced the launch of its new high-tech power delivery diagnostic center, designed to take advantage of advanced smart grid technology to better manage the electrical system and providing reliable service that ranks among the best in the nation.
“The power grid, which was designed and built across the United States many years ago, has remained virtually unchanged for decades,” said Manny Miranda, vice president of power supply for FPL. “Over the past few years, however, we have made – and continue to make – significant improvements by incorporating cutting edge technology to make the grid much stronger and smarter. Thanks to innovative solutions such as this diagnostic center, we have a better understanding of the performance of the FPL network, one of the most advanced systems in the country, allowing us to improve reliability for our customers.
FPL invests in smart grid technology and uses predictive analytics to deliver real-time data to engineers at its diagnostic center. Engineers, in turn, analyze the data to measure and improve the performance of the power grid.
FPL began modernizing its system in 2010 with the widespread installation of smart meters, funded in part by a $ 200 million grant from the US Department of Energy. Since then, FPL has invested an additional $ 600 million, installing more than 12,000 smart devices and thousands of sensors and monitors on transformers, circuit breakers and battery banks. The company is also investing in digital microprocessor technology that provides real-time telemetry and fault information, helping the company quickly identify and locate potential causes of outages.
“As other utilities are on the verge of a technological leap that will set new expectations for how businesses manage reliability, FPL is already a national leader,” said Jeff Lewis, ReliabilityOne program director ™ by PA Consulting Group. “FPL has kept customer needs at the forefront of its system improvements, articulating its business success on maintaining the highest level of reliability. “
Customer benefits of a smarter grid
- Improved overall service reliability – increased reliability of over 20% over the past five years
- Improved fault detection and prevention
- Reduction of downtime
- Faster repairs and more accurate time estimates for service restoration
- Keep customer invoices low – reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency
- Unprecedented customer control over energy consumption – customers with smart meters enabled can see their energy consumption by the hour, day and month on their “Energy Dashboard”
Smart meters help FPL run its operations more efficiently, generating more than $ 30 million in operational savings in 2014 alone, savings that help FPL reduce customer bills. More savings come from a reduction in the number of times FPL teams have to travel to the field to perform work – 170,000 fewer field visits through 2014. Customers also benefit from connection and faster and more convenient service disconnection when opening or closing accounts.
FPL recently filed its 2015 annual report on smart meter progress with the Florida Public Service Commission, outlining the achievements of 2014.
- 150,000 smart meters installed for commercial and industrial customers
- Improved detection, prevention and restoration of services
- 40,000 trouble tickets supplemented with useful smart meter data – helping to speed recovery
- 10,000 proactive fault tickets generated before the customer reports the fault; service restored for 2000 of them before the customer called FPL
- 2,000 transformers proactively replaced – smart data helps reveal potential issues with equipment so teams can replace it before it fails
- 500,000 customer outages avoided
- 1,600 automated switches added to the electrical system – 400 power switches and 1,200 side switches that help improve the system’s ability to automatically restore and redirect power, reducing the number of customers affected by outages
- Completion of smart meter deployment for commercial and industrial customers
- Meter Enclosure Alert Service (MEAS) launched – proactive detection of potential power quality issues for customers due to issues with their meter enclosures
- Deployment of thousands of smart grid devices to further improve service reliability – including 775 additional automated power switches, over 20,000 automated side switches, distribution network sensors and monitors, fault current indicators and vault transformer monitors
“We have made remarkable progress in our ability to monitor and manage the electrical system today compared to just a few years ago. We can now detect and prevent many problems before they become problems for our customers, and when outages do occur, we restore power faster and get back to life faster, ”said Miranda.
Investing in smart grid technology is part of FPL’s commitment to build a stronger, smarter grid while providing customers with an unprecedented ability to control their energy use. FPL has launched its online energy dashboard, where customers monitor and rate their energy use to help lower their bills. Last year, customers accessed the Energy Dashboard over 3 million times. FPL continues to improve the functionality of the dashboard and improve the functions for its commercial, net metering (solar) and hourly rate customers.
In 2014, FPL won the Smart Grid Project of the Year award at the DistribuTECH Awards from POWERGRID International magazine, and a 2014 ReliabilityOne ™ award in the Outstanding Technology and Innovation category in the United States from PA Consulting Group.
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About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.7 million customer accounts in nearly half of the state of Florida. The bill for typical residential customers of 1,000 kWh of FPL is about 25% lower than the national average and, in 2014, was Florida’s lowest among reporting utilities for the fifth consecutive year. FPL’s service reliability is over 99.98%, and its fleet of energy-efficient power plants is one of the cleanest of any utility in the country. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most reliable U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International and won the National ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., based in Juno Beach, Fla. (NYSE: NEE), a leading clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in the areas of sustainable development, ethics and diversity, in particular being named to Fortune’s list of “the world’s most admired companies”. NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, along with its affiliated entities, is the largest producer of renewable wind and solar energy in North America. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.