smart grid

US utility Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced that it is the recipient of the Florida Governor's Sterling Award for the development of its predictive smart grid tool.The utility leverages smart grid data retrieved from 4.8 million smart meters and uses a proactive notification process to help predict and in some cases prevent power outages. [Exelon Utilities budgets US$25bn for smart grid tech]

Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of Florida Power & Light said that should an outage occur, its smart meters help the utility to reduce the impact to customers. This enables FPL to provide improved reliability in good weather and bad.

According to a company release, the utility’s "Powerful Predictors" team demonstrated the benefits of the company's proactive ticket notification system by using smart grid data to predict when a customer is about to experience an outage.

This also allows crews to proactively deploy to an affected area and, in many cases, resolve the issue before a customer is even aware he or she had a problem.

Through the prediction and repair of intermittent power outages, FPL's team was able to avoided more than 3,000 single customer outages in 2015. Further to this, for these respective outages, the team decreased the average interruption duration by approximately 50 minutes, and achieved 70% cost savings by minimising wait and travel time due to outages.

Manny Miranda, senior vice president of Power Delivery for FPL, said: "This predictive tool is a game changer. It allows us to detect problems and alert crews to issues on the grid, directing them to the right location faster – even before a customer is aware they may soon experience an outage.

“Through solutions like the proactive ticket notification system, which offer us even greater visibility on the health of our energy grid, our team is able to deliver exceptional service reliability to our customers."

Smart grid development

[quote] The release adds that FPL began modernising its system in 2010 with the widespread installation of smart meters. Since then, FPL has installed more than 4.8 million smart meters in customers' homes and businesses.

The utility has also deployed more than 36,000 intelligent devices and automated smart switches, which help monitor and manage the electric system, detect and prevent power issues.

FPL’s grid modernisation efforts also led to FPL customers benefiting from US$46 million in smart grid operational savings due to efficiencies enabled by smart meters. A portion of these savings were realised through decreased restoration trips, and along with them, unnecessary costs associated with dispatching trucks and other related costs that ultimately are paid for by customers - more than 200,000 fewer field visits since 2012.

 

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