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08/07/2015 ~ Electric customers throughout the Florida Keys will enjoy enhanced electric reliability, higher energy efficiency and lower costs thanks to the completion of a multi-year electrical improvement project.

The improvements completed in June were the final phase of a multi-year project to enhance the unique electric system that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. Benefits include:

- Increasing the Florida Keys’ access to reliable, affordable electricity imported from the mainland

- Modernizing electric system technology

- Reducing the need to run local power generation in the Florida Keys

- Enhancing reliability of electric service

The first phase of the project included upgrades at Keys Energy Services’ Big Pine Key and Stock Island substations. The recently completed Phase Two of the project included the addition of state-of-the-art equipment to Florida Keys Electrical Cooperative’s Islamorada substation.

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 project.

FMPA’s $5.63 million share of the project has already paid for itself through avoided maintenance costs and production cost savings. The project produced a 10% return on investment in three years and is expected to produce additional savings of $500,000 annually.

“The multi-million dollar upgrade has already paid for itself and will continue to reduce costs over time,” said FMPA’s General Manager and CEO Nicholas Guarriello. “It will enable us to import more economical power into the Florida Keys and reduce the run time for generators in Key West.”

“This project is a great example of three separate organizations working together to save costs for the benefit of their customers,” said KEYS General Manager and CEO Lynne Tejeda. “In the Lower Keys, Keys Energy customers are already seeing better power stability as a result of the new equipment.”

“This project has proven to be a very cost effective way to increase the import capacity of the transmission system without having to build additional transmission lines in our environmentally sensitive service area,” said FKEC CEO Scott Newberry. “We look forward to enjoying the cost savings and reliability improvements that this project is already providing to all three utilities for many years to come.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Newly installed equipment at Florida Keys Electric Cooperative’s (FKEC) Islamorada substation will enhance electrical reliability and efficiency for residents of the Florida Keys. The project is a joint effort between FKEC, Keys Energy Services and Florida Municipal Power Agency.

*Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power company owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. FMPA provides economies of scale in power generation and related services to support community-owned electric utilities. The members of FMPA serve approximately two million Floridians.

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