Commercial, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, Microgrids  -  July 25, 2017

DOE, Panasonic, Xcel team up on smart-city development

The U.S. DOE announced July 21 that it is teaming up with Xcel Energy and Panasonic on Peña Station NEXT, a smart-city mixed use facility in Denver, Colo.

The 382-acre development, to be located next to Denver International Airport, will feature a community of office space, homes, hotels, retail space, dining and other amenities. The creators of the project hope the space will help turn Denver into a center of international business.

The project provides the opportunity to optimize the energy load profile of the community space and test the DOE’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) and URBANopt software to create a “cost-effective, scalable net-zero development infrastructure that has great potential for replication and adoption across the U.S. in future developments,” according to a news release.

The URBANopt software, under development at the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a buildings and district energy modeling tool used to analyze the projected dynamic energy consumption of corporate office space, retail space, multifamily dwellings, parking and street lighting within the development, the news release said.

The Peña Station NEXT complex will be assisted by Xcel Energy in achieving carbon neutrality through the operation of the necessary infrastructure that can one day be applied beyond the smart-city complex.

NREL’s ESIF provides a space to test residential and commercial smart energy technologies, including an end-to-end energy ecosystem that connects appliances, electric vehicles, homes and even an entire community.

“By incorporating power generation, energy storage and dynamic energy loads into the facility, researchers can simulate and optimize real-world conditions in a controlled laboratory environment,” the NREL release said. 

The smart resource grid of the development will be designed entirely on clean energy. With its location next to the Denver International Airport, the Peña Station NEXT complex plans to operate as a connection between Denver businesses and the rest of the world’s economy.

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