GE, Cisco and Others Team with Miami for $200M Smart Grid Project

Mayor Manny Diaz today unveiled an ambitious, $200 million “Energy Smart Miami” smart grid project developed in partnership with General Electric, Cisco Systems, Florida Power & Light and Silver Spring Networks to deploy smart meters on every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County.

“This begins the transformation of Miami into the first truly smart-grid system in the nation,” Diaz said during a press conference announcing the launch. “It is a model that supports and embodies the goals of the stimulus bill.”

The project, which aims to land stimulus bill funding for as much as half the project, will create as many as 1,000 new jobs as it brings next-generation technology to homes and businesses. In addition to smart meters, the project aims to install solar power systems on several schools and universities, add 300 plug-in hybrid vehicles to the city’s fleet, and bring a series of new technologies like home energy use dashboards, smart appliances and smart-meter thermostats to pilot programs in 1,000 city homes.

Miami photo CC-licensed by Flickr user (le)doo.

“It’s really the biggest commercialization of smart-grid technology,” Jeff Immelt, GE’s CEO, told Forbes today. “It’s going to allow for better embracing of renewable technology. It’s going to reduce [carbon dioxide], and it’s going to create jobs.”

Energy Smart Miami piggybacks on a series of already planned upgrades to the Miami area electric grid that has been in the works from FPL and California-based Silver Spring Networks. In the new project, GE will provide one million smart meters to the project, with the potential to upgrade to 4.5 million, enough to cover FPL’s entire customer base in Miami-Dade. Silver Spring Networks will provide the technology to link those smart meters, and Cisco is spearheading the in-home smart devices and home dashboards in 1,000 residences.

Smart grid technologies are rapidly accelerating as the U.S. makes moves toward a low-carbon economy. Last fall, GE and Google teamed up to lobby the federal government for support for the smart grid, while last week developers announced Babcock Ranch, Fla., would become the first solar-powered city in the U.S., and would adopt smart grid technologies to manage energy use in the city.

More details about the project are online at

Miami photo CC-licensed by Flickr user dgilmalle.

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