Keys Energy Services: Powering Paradise for 75 Years

July 27, 2018 - November 26, 2018

Custom House Museum | Bumpus Gallery

Celebrating 75 years of Powering Paradise, this exhibition will explore the history and continuing operation of Keys Energy Service (KEYS), the public power utility for the Lower Florida Keys. Headquartered in Key West, Florida, KEYS provides electricity from Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge and serves more than 28,000 customers.

The City of Key West purchased the electric utility in 1943 and the City Council created the Utility Board to oversee KEYS (then known as City Electric System, before the utility’s name was changed in 2002).  Initially, KEYS only provided electric service to the City of Key West. In 1953, the utility expanded its service area to the Seven Mile Bridge. In those early years, electricity was produced via local generation.  In the late 1970s, the Utility Board studied alternative power supplies and decided to construct a transmission line (or tieline) to interconnect to the mainland power grid.  On May 8, 1987, KEYS interconnected the tieline with the mainland power grid and KEYS’ operations changed dramatically.

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