January 28, 2012 (San Diego) – With a focus on the San Diego region’s job growth, smarter technology development, solar energy storage integration and increased electric vehicle infrastructure and deployment, Smart City San Diego is delivering results. The collaborative is made up of City of San Diego, GE, UC San Diego, CleanTECH San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). It formed to leverage each entity’s strengths to create and implement initiatives to improve the region’s energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assert San Diego as a clean energy leader.
“Over the past year, Smart City San Diego has been forward-thinking about creating opportunities for a more sustainable region,” said San Diego Mayor Sanders. “Moving into 2012, our collaborative will continue to build on those results and develop and launch even more initiatives to drive economic growth for our region.”
These results include:
Car2Go: The City of San Diego and SDG&E worked with Daimler’s Car2Go to make San Diego’s launch of its plug-in electric vehicle car sharing pilot a big success. The City continues to work with SDG&E to increase the number of public-access charging stations throughout the Car2Go targeted region. The team is working collectively to educate the community about the benefits of the pilot program and expects to increase public interest in electric vehicles and encourage the growth of the plug-in electric vehicle industry in San Diego. Data gained from Car2Go will provide information on where charging stations are most needed. Smart City San Diego also continues to work to streamline the permitting process for deploying charging stations.
Smart Appliances: SDG&E and GE are working together to test the communication links between GE’s smart appliances and SDG&E’s smart meters to ensure consumers are empowered with the best technologies to manage energy use and costs. GE’s Appliances business is supplying SDG&E with a smart dishwasher, washer and dryer along with a GE Nucleus energy manager and Programmable Control Thermostat to expedite the testing process. SDG&E’s team is currently testing the communication between these assets prior to consumer deployment.
Economic Development and Job Growth: CleanTECH San Diego – working with the City of San Diego, SDG&E, UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and its private sector member companies – is quantifying and categorizing regional clean tech companies that touch smart grid technology development. Categories include solar energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, clean transportation and other technology companies. CleanTECH San Diego has also created a baseline analysis of the direct and indirect economic impacts of the named clusters. This baseline analysis can help quantify year-over-year job growth and other economic impacts of the regional smart grid sector. This will be particularly helpful in measuring the economic impact of the over 180 solar companies and over 20 storage companies that call San Diego home.
Solar Integrated Energy Storage: UC San Diego and SDG&E have submitted a grant application to test, demonstrate and evaluate a variety of solar integrated energy storage projects over a 12 to 24 month period. If funded, this initiative will test multiple applications at multiple sites and provide analysis for the benefit of utilities, grid planners, regulators, solar inverter manufacturers, system integrators, business modelers, energy storage manufacturers and other early adopters. CleanTECH San Diego supports this initiative as part of efforts to advance the region as an Innovation Hub(IHub). In August 2010, the California Governor’s Office of Economic Development designated the greater San Diego region as an IHub for solar energy storage. The purpose of the IHub is to build on the region’s existing innovation infrastructure and strong culture of collaboration to accelerate the convergence of solar energy and energy storage.
Policy Leadership: In July 2010, Smart City San Diego hosted California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron for a day long briefing on San Diego’s smart grid initiatives. The Commissioner met with industry representatives from the solar, energy efficiency, smart grid and technology sectors and toured UC San Diego’s world renowned microgrid. The collaborative held a roundtable with the Commissioner to brief him on the vision and work of Smart City San Diego.
Solar Decathlon 2013 Finalist: The City of San Diego and UC San Diego worked with the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Committee to make San Diego one of two finalists for the location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon. The event promotes the outreach, education, and economic benefits of energy security, renewable energy and energy efficiency. If early projections bear out, attendance at the event has the potential to be larger than the San Diego Convention Center’s highest attended conference and create a positive economic impact for the region.
Economic Development and Job Growth: GE worked with CleanTech San Diego and SDG&E to host a GE Sourcing Supplier Diversity event for the first time in San Diego. Over 50 diverse local suppliers participated in one-on-one sessions with GE buyers to learn how best to work with GE and be considered for future projects.
“GE is proud to bring our grid modernization technology and expertise to Smart City San Diego,” said Mark Hura, global smart grid commercial Leader for GE’s Digital Energy business. “An efficient, reliable and sustainable electric infrastructure is essential to powering economic growth and supporting business, industry and the dynamic lifestyles of a skilled workforce. We applaud all the successes over the past year and look forward to many more to come.”
Formed in January 2011, Smart City San Diego was charged with bringing together leading organizations from government, business, education and non-profit to maximize synergies to drive sustainability programs forward, identify new opportunities, embrace additional collaborators, and move the San Diego region beyond today’s boundaries of sustainability. This model will be able to be duplicated in other regions.
The collaborative leverages its strengths and resources as a partnership to develop and implement local initiatives that will empower consumers, improve environmental quality, drive economic growth, and reduce the San Diego region’s reliance on oil. The collaborative is working toward a more consumer-focused, environmentally conscious energy future by addressing San Diegan’s 21st century energy needs.