47 households on a Florida Key can see the grid, but are not connected
Originally published December 5, 2012
Forty-seven households on tiny No Name Key in Florida are working the bureaucracy to satisfy the final steps required to obtain grid-supplied electricity. Disputes among island residents have raged for years over whether power to the key, which is connected by a bridge from Big Pine Key, should come solely from solar panels and diesel generators or from the Keys Energy Services grid on Key West.
Responding to formal requests from the homeowners association on No Name Key, the utility last summer installed power poles and cables that stand ready to supply residents. But Keys Energy cannot connect the homes to the grid until homeowners obtain necessary permits from the county and state. The island is part of a federally protected ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Keys Energy Services is investing millions of dollars to bolster the reliability of electric service it provides to its 30,000 existing customers. Those measures include state-mandated storm-hardening improvements so the electric distribution system and the tieline that carries power from mainland Florida to the Keys can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour.
The Keys Energy story is related in a Public Power magazine article, "Conch Reliability." The article is posted on publicpowermedia.org.
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