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Energy Smart Miami - Cisco Behind the Smart Grid



We've all heard
quite a bit of talk, speculation, argument and proposition regarding a solution
to our country's energy problems. Besides our desperate foreign oil dependence,
the US also contributes a large portion of the greenhouse gases that pollute our
planet- so clearly a solution is eminent. The beacon of hope has been placed on
the shoulder's of the futuristic 'smart grid' - an energy efficient and
eco-friendly grid that can power our country and perhaps save our economy.





A host of naysayers
have argued the feasibility of such a 
high-tech
energy
 grid-
a network that can seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources like solar and
wind, can connect to major city centers from long distance, and can regulate
itself intelligently depending on where energy needs to be allocated. 'Smart
Meters' would need to be implemented in homes, apartments and business centers
to provide constant feedback to the grid.





Despite the
backlash to the initiative, president Obama's administration has gone forward
with allocating stimulus 
money
towards
 constructing the smart grid. One of the historic first steps has
been taken today as the city of Miami proposes leading the initiative with a
$200 million project to create a smart grid within Florida. The smart grid,
'Energy Smart Miami,' will be built by network powerhouses Cisco Systems and
General Electric, among several other companies wanting to get their feet wet
with the new wave of green smart technologies.





Miami Mayor Diaz
described the project (from 
cleanenergymiami.com): "The Energy Smart Miami Initiative
is an investment in the future of our city, our residents and our neighborhoods,
and is an important step towards creating the green jobs of the future and
building a clean energy economy. This initiative meets the Obama
administration's goal of investing in alternative and renewable energy, ending
our addiction to foreign oil, addressing the global climate crisis and creating
millions of new green jobs. I look forward to working with our partners in the
private sector to create a model of putting the economic stimulus plan in
action and breaking ground right away."





The central focus
of 'Energy Smart Miami' will be installing over 1 million smart meters to homes
and business around Miami, which will provide 
instant
energy
 usage
feedback to Flordia Power and Light Company. These meters will also alow
Miami's citizens and business owners to better monitor and regulate their
energy usage by providing up-to-date statistics.





Cisco Systems, the
world's leader in network hardware and technology, will contribute by creating
the infrastructure and network for these systems . It will be the company's
task to create energy management data and controls for customers, as well as to
implement the project's security and communications technology. In other words,
Cisco hardware will play an 
integral role in providing the backbone for the
entire grid.





John Chambers, Cisco's
CEO
, commented on the
company's role in creating the grid: "An intelligent energy infrastructure
can accelerate American leadership, create jobs, help increase our standard of
living and drive sustainable growth. Cisco believes that as the U.S. builds out
a smart, secure energy grid for the 21st century, networking technology will serve
as the platform and public-private partnerships will be key to the success. We
are proud to be part of this important effort in Miami."





If the city of
Miami, Cisco and others can successfully take on the first of the 
smart grids, it will set a president for the rest of
the country. It takes the US that much closer to the gargantuan task of
transitioning into a enlightened age of energy conservation and environmental
sustainability.







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