Gallery: Newest US City to Be Built Just for Testing Green Technologies

 

Up to 20 square miles of virgin desert in New Mexico will soon be home to the nation’s newest town, only with a twist — no one will live there. Developer Pegasus Global Holdings (a communication, technology and defense contractor) and the state of New Mexico have announced plans to create a “mid-sized” smart city that they are calling The Center for Testing, Evaluation and Innovation. Details are vague, but the concept is clear enough: design a town that mirrors real cities in order to test sustainable infrastructure and technologies to see if they would work in the actual built environment without fear of disrupting real communities. Think of it as the green version of Westworld – only if something goes wrong nobody gets hurt.

Pegasus Global’s Robert H. Brumley CEO explains “The Center will allow private companies, not for profits, educational institutions and government agencies to test in a unique facility with real world infrastructure, allowing them to better understand the cost and potential limitations of new technologies prior to introduction.” The town will be built to mimic real cities with layers of different era-type buildings and transportation, with the one exception – there will be no full-time residents.

Currently, most smart grid research is based on computer simulations of real world situations. The Center provides an opportunity for companies, non profits and the government to implement and test smart grid and other technologies in a real but controlled environment and at scale. The Center aims to explore issues like smart grid security, stability, communication systems and transportation technologies.

A major sticking point in introducing emerging green technologies, such as the smart grid, at scale is the risk of trying to integrate it with existing infrastructure in real-time and avoiding disruptions. Smart grid introduction in the United States has been slower than expected, with both social and technical hurdles not clearly understood when they were implemented. The site has not been announced and it remains to be seen how large the project will become and how it will be funded, but is projected to create 350 direct jobs. To us, though, it sounds like it’s straight out of a Hollywood script.

+ Pegasus Global Holdings

Via BLDGBLOG

Photos Wikimedia

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4 Comments

  1. bobphorjoy September 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I am all in favor of advancing our possibilities with energy and human behaviors. As important as jobs may be, having purpose and meaning in ones life, with a means of exchange for goods and services, is the kitty’s meow. Can you hear me now ? RB Further, I have explored the idea of eliminating perpetual rental assistance. Once the dome is paid for, by oil and other fossil fuels, there are plenty of living expenses to address. Sewards Success Alaska. Giant dome to house 40,000 residents 1968

  2. dweinert September 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I love the idea of this pilot program. Architects and builders love doing mock-ups to test a construction ideabefore putting a lot of money behind it. This seems like the only way to test emerging sustainable technologies.

    Two problems I have with the idea, though. One, echoed by other readers, is why not have people living there as well. Technology will not solve our energy issues, we need to focus more on human behavior and having people in this mock-up city will test how people respond to something like a smart-grid.

    Secondly, 350 jobs seems like a very small number, especially considering all of the infrastructure spending that you hear coming out of washington. The third leg of sustainability, the one that focuses on the social aspect, is often ignored in the field. I would advocate inhabiting this city and creating jobs for them to do.

  3. secretasquirrel September 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Really they could thing of any urban areas in the country that could benefit from this, that are in serious need of local jobs, have abandoned or empty buildings they could put on this new tech in to test out and gee I don’t know actually have people testing it. Or even get with a homebuilder and do a test sub-division.

  4. caeman September 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Wouldn’t allowing people to live there more fully test the ability of the green tech to co-exist with people?

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