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EEI Energy Talk  
January 2020
Top Story
Photo: Courtesy USEA/Herman Farrer Photography.
Top Story
America's Energy Future: Cleaner, Smarter, Stronger
Last week, at the United States Energy Association's 16th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum, EEI President Tom Kuhn joined trade association leaders from across the energy industry to recap last year's accomplishments and look ahead to the opportunities of 2020.
 
Kuhn highlighted the progress made by EEI's member companies—the nation's investor-owned electric companies—over the past decade to lead a profound and long-term transformation of America's energy.
-EEI President Tom Kuhn
"We truly are leading the way to a cleaner, smarter, stronger energy future for America.​"
"I am truly proud of the immense value that our industry delivers, day in and day out, in all 50 states, and around the world," he said. "And, as we begin 2020, and a new decade, I am proud to say that we stand on a strong foundation and are poised for even more success. We truly are leading the way to a cleaner, smarter, stronger energy future for America."
 
Kuhn discussed the industry’s priorities for 2020, including advocating for public policies that advance investment in smarter energy infrastructure; drive electric transportation; support a balanced and diverse portfolio of energy sources and the development of new and next-generation clean energy technologies; and help to strengthen the resilience of the energy grid against all hazards. 

“The value of a long-term perspective offers important lessons," he concluded. “Perhaps one of the most important for this election year is this: for the electric power industry, Wednesday, November 4, 2020, will dawn with the same strategic focus no matter what happens the day or night before. 

“EEI’s member companies will remain laser-focused on building a cleaner, smarter, stronger energy future for every American—and delivering the safe, reliable, affordable, clean energy they need."
 
Read more about EEI's 2020 outlook for the industry in the latest issue of ​Electric Perspectives​

Happening Now
Happening Now
Addressing the Impact of Wildfires on the Electric Power Sector

EEI’s member companies are committed to protecting customers and communities and to safeguarding the energy grid against all hazards. In response to the growing threat of wildfires and their potential impact on the life, health, and safety of communities, our industry and our government partners are elevating the wildfire risk mitigation and response efforts to a national level through the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council.

On January 28, Bill Johnson, president and CEO, PG&E Corporation, testified during a joint hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittees on energy and environment and climate change, discussing the impact of wildfires on energy infrastructure and the environment. Johnson's testimony highlighted that, "to date, PG&E has undertaken a significant amount of work and made tremendous progress."

"For example, PG&E has installed more than 600 weather stations and 140 high-definition cameras across its service area. PG&E will continue to expand these networks to enhance weather forecasting and modeling and improve the company’s ability to predict and respond to extreme wildfire danger. PG&E is on track to install a total of 1,300 weather stations and 600 cameras by 2022, a density of one weather station roughly every 20 circuit miles and video coverage of roughly 90 percent of the high-risk areas."​

​-PG&E Corporation President & CEO Bill Johnson
"PG&E is on track to install a total of 1,300 weather stations and 600 cameras by 2022."

​EEI commented in a statement for the record submitted for the hearing: “EEI’s member companies are focused on devising and implementing comprehensive programs to mitigate and manage the risks that electric transmission and distribution equipment may pose in an environment of heightened wildfire threats. These plans include expanding vegetation management cycles, improving emergency response capabilities, and making new infrastructure and technology investments.”

Read more in EEI's statement​.



Company Spotlight
Photo: Courtesy FPL.
Company Spotlight
FPL Debuts Unique Solar Structure to Deliver More Clean Energy in South Florida

​In January, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) debuted its multi-purpose solar installation at Bayfront Park in Miami to power the city’s downtown festivities with more clean energy ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

“With hundreds of thousands of football fans descending on our community and millions more worldwide tuning in for the big game, the FPL Solar Amphitheater showcases the bold, innovative spirit of Miami and the city’s relentless commitment to sustainability and resiliency,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “Doubling as a test site, this new solar landmark enables FPL to conduct cutting-edge research as we bring even more affordable clean energy to our customers. Importantly, the solar array demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together toward a common goal.”

​-FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy ​
"This new solar landmark enables FPL to conduct cutting-edge research as we bring even more affordable clean energy to our customers."

​The 500-panel canopy-like solar structure generates about 250 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy, covers nearly 400 feet of walkway around the FPL Solar Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, and features LED lighting that can illuminate the venue at night and change colors to coincide with special events.

“The FPL Solar Amphitheater ushers in an era of innovation for this historic park,” said Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, chairman of the Bayfront Park Management Trust. “By day, the solar canopy and trees produce renewable energy and advance our sustainability mission. And, when the sun goes down, the array’s colorful lights add a new dynamic to Miami’s iconic skyline.” 

FPL partnered with Bayfront Park Management Trust, the City of Miami, and Live Nation to create this unique solar installation for the amphitheater, which serves as a research hub and test bed for groundbreaking “bifacial solar panel” technology—a solar panel that can produce energy on both sides.

The FPL Solar Amphitheater joins more than a dozen FPL solar installations in Miami-Dade County, including solar trees at parks and the FPL Miami-Dade Solar Energy Center, which can power up to 15,000 homes with solar when the sun is shining.

This is another example of EEI member companies’ commitment to reduce carbon emissions while providing their customers with safe, reliable, and affordable energy.

An original version of this story can be found on FPL’s Newsroom​.


In the News
In the News
Smart Meter Deployments Reach 98 Million
Electric companies' investments in smart meters have been the foundation for today’s customer-facing, modern energy grid. As technology advances, the possibilities continue to grow, and today, electric companies are finding new ways to create value from the data and capabilities that smart meters enable. 
 
A new report, Electric Company Smart Meter Deployments: Foundation for a Smart Grid, published by the Edison Foundation, finds that estimated smart meter deployments reached an estimated 98 million by the end of 2019, reaching more than 70 percent of U.S. households. "Electric companies across the United States are leveraging smart meter data to better monitor the health of the energy grid, more quickly restore electric service when outages occur, integrate distributed energy resources, and deliver energy solutions to customers," according to the study.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Securing the Energy Grid Takes Policies and People

​"The resilience of our industry’s transmission and distribution assets and their critical role in robust energy infrastructure and a vibrant economy have never been more important," writes Chris Crane, EEI chairman and president and CEO, Exelon Corporation, in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives. "Yet, the nation’s energy grid is faced with a daunting set of challenges, including physical and cybersecurity threats, rapidly changing technology, natural and man-made disasters, and increasingly severe weather as we see the growing effects of climate change. To stay ahead of these threats, communities, states, the federal government, and electric companies must work together to meet these new realities."

Read more.


In Electric Perspectives
In Electric Perspectives
Design Thinking: A Human-Centered Approach to Solving Customer Problems in the Energy World

​"In contrast to the widespread attention paid to the many ways in which new technologies are affecting the electric power industry, often overlooked are the associated major shifts in customer attitudes and expectations. The good news is that electric company CEOs and other leaders are focused on the need for a customer-centric strategy; the bad news is that it is difficult to learn how actually to become customer-centric," writes Bill LeBlanc, chief instigation agent, E Source, in Electric Perspectives. "Enter design thinking, an approach to customer-first innovation with roots in technology companies such as Apple, IBM, Amazon, and Airbnb that now is common among service industries."

Read more.


What We're Watching
What We're Watching
Eversource Employee Teaches Colleagues Sign Language

​Electric companies believe that it's vital to reach every customer in ways they can understand. Eversource employee Dianna Sullivan, whose first language is American Sign Language, is teaching front-line workers how to share vital safety and power restoration messages with deaf customers. Watch more.


Delivering the Future
Photo: Courtesy SCE.
Delivering the Future
Showcasing the People, Projects, and Partnerships Delivering America’s Energy Future Today
These stories are just a few examples of recent posts on EEI's Delivering the Future website.
 
Entergy Contributes Toward Early Child Education and Care Programs
The Entergy Charitable Foundation announced a $300,000 grant in early December to support the City of New Orleans’ City Seats program, which provides free high-quality early childhood care and educational programs to low-income working families in Orleans Parish.
 
BGE Funds Cages to Clear Trash From Baltimore River
Baltimore Gas & Electric's (BGE’s) floating trash cage is tethered to pilings a few feet from the outfall of the Fort Avenue stormwater drain. Its solar-powered motor turns on automatically once every two hours and dumps trash from the cage to a dumpster. 
 
SCE Adds Electric Forklift to Its Expanding EV Fleet
As Mauro Delgado maneuvered his forklift to pick up some spools of wire at Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Irwindale Corporate Warehouse, the only noise that could be heard was the sound of traffic on the nearby freeway. Normally the noise from a forklift would drown out everything around it, but Delgado was driving one of SCE’s new all-electric models.
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Did You Know?
Did You Know?
140 Years Since Edison's Light Bulb Patent

​On January 27, 1880—140 years ago—​Thomas Edison received a patent for his incandescent light bulb, helping to lead the way to universal electric lighting.

EEI and our member companies salute Edison's vision, and continue in his footsteps to deliver ever greater service and innovation for the customers and communities we are so proud to serve.

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