S&C’s new manufacturing plant brings more reliable power, new jobs to Florida

Wed, 2015-06-03 06:00 -- Doug Peeples

Michael Edmonds, president of U.S. business for S&C, is at the podium during a plant opening event that included remarks by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (at left).

The timing couldn’t have been better. Council Lead Partner S&C Electric opened its new West Palm Beach manufacturing plant this week to build smart grid devices that will help Florida Power & Light (FPL) keep the power flowing during severe storms. It also happened to be the beginning of hurricane season in the Atlantic.

"We’re committed to continuing to build a strong, smarter grid to provide electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad," said FPL CEO and President Eric Silagy. "Part of the commitment of having the most modern grid in America includes building relationships with innovative companies like S&C, with the goal of delivering state-of-the-art technology for the benefit of our customers, all the while keeping the cost they pay for their electricity the lowest in Florida and 30$ below the national average."

S&C’s technology
The new manufacturing plant will turn out S&C’s TripSaver II® Cutout-Mounted Recloser. S&C located the plant in West Palm Beach to accommodate FPL’s intent to place thousands of the reclosers on area power lines to prevent momentary power outages.

"The TripSaver II is an automated device, replacing traditional fuses that must be manually operated. When there’s a temporary issue on a power line, such as a palm frond falling or blowing into the line, this switch automatically responds in seconds, senses when the branch is gone and clears the temporary issue – keeping the power on for customers," explained Michael Edmonds, president of U.S. business for S&C.

FPL plans to install over 20,000 of the automated switches this year.

"Today marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. These devices and the other smart grid technology that we are installing throughout our communities are dramatically changing our customers’ experience for the better," Silagy commented. "Today, we’re detecting and preventing many power outages well before they become problems for our customers – that is a complete shift in the way we conducted business just a short time ago."

S&C smart grid achievements recognized in new report
S&C and several additional Smart Cities Council members were recognized in a new report from the Northeast Group on the power sector Internet of Things (IoT) market. The report finds that in addition to smart grid investments already made, an additional $380.1 billion more will be spent globally in the next 10 years – and that more than 500 smart grid companies are competing for shares of that market.

In addition to S&C, examples of leading vendors Northeast Group cited in the competitive power sector IoT environment include Council Lead Partners Alstom GridCiscoIBMItron and Schneider Electric, and Associate Partners ABB,  Bit Stew SystemsSiemens and Silver Spring Networks.

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Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.

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