Microgrid fulcrum to Denver smart city project

A solar-powered microgrid is to backbone Panasonic’s smart city, just outside Denver, Colorado.

The consumer electronics giant is aiming for a completion date of 2026 for the smart city, which will be built on a 400-acre swath of empty land near Denver Airport.

The company has installed free WiFi, LED street lights, pollution sensors, a solar-powered microgrid, and security cameras as part of its CityNow project.
Denver Smart City
With the help of the new microgrid, the district can be powered for 72 hours in the event of an outage, Jarrett Wendt, EVP of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, told PC Mag.

The smart city will also facilitate autonomous vehicles.

Emily Silverman, a program manager for the City of Denver, says that her team believes the technology will improve residents’ lives. For example, since city officials will be able to remotely control the LED streetlights, they hope to increase public safety while minimizing light pollution and energy usage.

“The city’s population growing by 15,000 residents annually. While this is great for economic development, it also means that Denver faces challenges like traffic congestion, air quality issues, and affordable housing shortages,”à‚ Silverman said. “We needed to think about how we plan to address these challenges while maintaining Denver’s character.”

Panasonic plans to share all the data it collects with the city via an open API. If successful in the Denver area, the company may launch CityNow in other American cities.

The Japanese firm had previously installed a similar solar power microgrid at Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, 30 miles west of Tokyo.

There, Panasonic hooked up 1,000 new residences to the smart grid, which monitors energy usage in real time. To accommodate electricity demands, the company also built a solar farm south of the city and 440 yards of solar cells along a highway.

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