Electrical Reliability, Efficiency Enhanced in Lower Florida Keys

Electric customers in the Lower Florida Keys will enjoy enhanced reliability and efficiency thanks to recently completed electrical improvements.

The improvements completed May 18 were the first phase of a two-year project to enhance the unique electric system that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. Benefits include:

· Increasing the Keys’ access to reliable, affordable electricity imported from the mainland
· Modernizing electric system technology
· Reducing the need to run local power generation in the Keys
· Enhancing reliability of electric service

Workers finalized the installation of equipment last week at Keys Energy Services’ (KEYS) Stock Island substation as part of a joint project between KEYS, Florida Municipal Power Agency and Florida Keys Electric Cooperative to enhance electrical reliability and efficiency in the Florida Keys.

Phase one of the project was completed last week on time and under budget. This phase included state-of-the-art equipment additions at KEYS’ Big Pine Key and Stock Island substations to monitor and control voltage.

Phase two includes upgrades to Florida Keys Electrical Cooperative’s Islamorada substation. Engineering will begin this summer. Construction is scheduled for completion by summer 2013.

The project is a joint effort between Keys Energy Services (KEYS), the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative (FKEC), and the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), the wholesale power provider for KEYS. All three utilities are sharing the cost of the $12 million project.

“The utility partnership enables us to improve the reliability of the 25-year-old tieline, our crucial electric connection to the mainland, and to accomplish it at an economical cost,” said Lynne Tejeda, KEYS’ General Manager and CEO.

“The multi-million dollar upgrade will pay for itself over time,” said FMPA’s General Manager Nicholas Guarriello. “It will enable us to import more economical power and reduce the run time for generators in Key West.”

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