JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today unveiled a new, cutting-edge piece of smart grid technology, called the Automated Transformer Switch (ATS), to prevent and reduce power outages. The announcement regarding the ATS, also known as a VacuFuse™ Self-Resetting Interrupter, comes as FPL reaches a major smart grid technology milestone, completing the system-wide installation of 80,000 smart switches on the energy grid that reduce customer outages.
“The investments we’ve made throughout the last 13 years to build a stronger, smarter energy grid continue to provide tangible benefits to our customers in the form of higher day-to-day reliability and faster restoration following a major storm,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “For example, the unprecedented size and scope of Hurricane Irma tested every piece of equipment across our 27,000-square-mile service area in 2017. Smart grid technology enabled us to avoid more than a half million outages during that storm and allowed us to restore service to customers even before it was safe for our trucks to roll.”
Since the historic 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, FPL has invested nearly $3 billion into building a stronger, smarter and more storm resilient energy grid. These investments have helped the company increase service reliability for its customers by more than 30 percent in the last 10 years. The addition of the new ATS, which was jointly developed by FPL and S&C Electric Company – both recognized as technology innovators – will help prevent and significantly reduce outages closer to customers’ homes or businesses, equating to even better service reliability.
“Over the last few years, we have worked with FPL to identify ways to use our technology to better serve its customers,” said Mike Edmonds, chief commercial officer for S&C. “The new device brings advanced technology to areas of the grid that have never had it before and adds more tools to help FPL continue to improve its service reliability.”
S&C opened a facility in Palm Beach County in 2015 for its patented Automated Lateral Switch (ALS) to meet FPL's high demand. That smart device helps decrease the number of customers affected by momentary outages, or "flickers,” and keeps temporary issues on the grid from becoming long-term outages.
“The smart grid technology we’ve deployed pays dividends for our customers every day,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL. “The automated smart switches alone have allowed the company to avoid more than 1.3 million interruptions just in 2018. I look forward to continuing to use technology such as the ATS to deliver service that our customers can count on in good weather and bad.”
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the United States as measured by retail electricity produced and sold, serving more than five million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all electric companies nationwide. The company was recognized in 2018 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International for the fifth consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2019 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of Gulf Power Company, which serves more than 460,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
S&C Electric Company
S&C Electric Company is a global provider of equipment and services for electric power systems. Founded in 1911, the Chicago-based company designs and manufactures switching, protection, and control products for electric power transmission and distribution. S&C has global offices in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, the UK, and Australia.
S&C continues to advance new solutions for electric power delivery systems as the electric grid undergoes transformative changes in the 21st century. Utilities are working to integrate renewable energy sources, address peak loading issues, and manage the needs of electric vehicles. Looking at an increasingly complex and dynamic grid, S&C is working closely with its electric utility customers to understand their electric grids and business challenges they face – then innovating solutions to address their power-delivery challenges.
Additionally, S&C offers a wide range of engineering, laboratory, testing, and field services for electric utilities and commercial and industrial power systems. Learn more about S&C at sandc.com.