The city of San Diego is discovering that partnering with utility companies can provide numerous benefits for the city, residents, the energy companies, and other partners.
“You can’t have a smart city without a smart utility,” said David Graham, deputy chief operating officer for the City of San Diego. “Without a utility partner, the city cannot be as smart as it needs to be.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is a member of Smart City San Diego, a collaboration across public, private and academic organizations with a focus on the region’s job growth, smarter technology development, solar energy storage integration, increased electric vehicle infrastructure and deployment, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In a bid to realize greater efficiencies – and aid in the city’s data collection process – residential smart meters have been installed, which produce real-time data around customer energy use. They also worked together with Daimler’s Car2Go to launch the plug-in electric vehicle car sharing pilot. The city continues to work with SDG&E to increase the number of public-access charging stations throughout the Car2Go targeted region and 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.
General Electric – along with Intel Corp and AT&T – will begin installing cameras, microphones and sensors on 3,200 city street lights in the city. The system’s ‘CityIQ’ sensing nodes will be able to detect where a gunshot occurred, estimate crowd sizes, report on air quality, check vehicle speeds and other tasks. The city plans to make the data freely available to universities and entrepreneurs, who will develop new applications designed to help officials better manage city operations. GE has also upgraded to LED lighting on 14,000 of San Diego’s approximately 60,000 street lights, with a cost savings of $2.4 million annually.