Miami To Get Smart Grid As GE (GE), Florida Power and Light (FPL), Cisco (CSCO) And Silver Springs Team Up

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07:39:38 am on April 21, 2009

General Electric, Florida Power and Light, Cisco Systems and Silver Springs Networks just announced that the four companies will team up to build a smart grid to serve the city of Miami. The new program, which will be called Energy Smart Miami, involves installing smart meters in more than 1 million Miami homes and businesses, as well as constructing an automated smart grid to support the smart meters. The program should create approximately 1,000 new jobs in Florida, and the companies involved have applied for federal stimulus funding to offset some of the $200 million investment.

In an article from Reuters, executives from each company commented on the initiative:

Likening the smart-grid technology to the introduction of the Internet, Cisco CEO John Chambers said homes will be connected for electricity as well as communication needs.

"The opportunity is probably one of the four of five new concepts that will grow on a global basis with dramatic job creation everywhere," Chambers said.

For GE, "it is one of our most important growth initiatives," said Jeffrey Immelt, GE chief executive.

Scott Lang, Silver Spring Networks CEO, said his company, founded in 2002, already has networking contracts with U.S. utilities representing 20 percent of the nation’s population and recently added a project in Australia.

While FPL’s plan is to connect its 4.5 million customers, "there are 150 million homes in the U.S. that will need to be networked," said Lang. "That’s the market we look at."

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