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Program will be second largest smart grid investment in Florida
Lakeland Electric, the third largest public power utility in Florida, selected Sensus as the technology provider for its smart grid program, which marks the second largest smart grid investment in the state. By implementing the Sensus FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution, Lakeland’s smart grid program will support meter reading, distribution automation, home area networking (HAN) and demand response applications. The utility will leverage the benefits of reliable and secure two-way communications to increase operational efficiency, improve management of peak load power and provide customers tools to participate in proactive energy management.
The project launches in February with the installation of 120,000 electric endpoints, including 10,000 meters equipped with remote connect and disconnect capabilities, 3,000 HAN displays and the implementation of time-of-use rates and customer web portals with near real-time data on energy usage. The utility has partnered with the Department of Energy to conduct a yearlong consumer behavior study and will use those findings to refine rate structures. In the future, Lakeland will introduce load control programs, including programmable thermostats.
“After evaluating various AMI technologies, we found that Sensus’ technologies will best enable us to satisfy a foundational tenant of the smart grid, which is to engage our customers in the energy ecosystem by providing tools and information that enable them to manage their own usage and have more control over their energy bills,” said Randy Dotson, project manager of the Smart Grid Initiative at Lakeland Electric.
Sensus’ FlexNet AMI system adheres to open standards and communicates via dedicated, primary-use Federal Communications Commission-licensed spectrum. It is the first AMI system to earn the internationally recognized Wurldtech Achilles cyber-security certification, leverages long-range radio to transmit at a higher power, to a greater range and with a lean infrastructure that can support multiple applications for electric, water and gas utilities.
“We commend Lakeland Electric for embracing the full potential of the smart grid with a communications infrastructure that invites users into the energy value chain, creating efficiency improvements for the utility and the customers it serves,” said Randolph Wheatley, vice president of marketing for Sensus.