Readiness Guide - Case Studies

Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. Its Public Works Department is responsible for taking care of the city’s water, wastewater, transportation, landfill, fleet, environmental and renewable power systems. In order to achieve its goals, the department created an infrastructure revolving around the capabilities of its people and technology from Council member Schneider Electric.

Jacksonville is the 14th largest city in North Carolina and home to more than 70,000 residents. Jacksonville’s Information Technology Services (ITS) department provides citywide support for all computer, phone, security and geographic information systems through its operations center for over 500 end users.

Tianjin Eco-City is a flagship collaborative project between Singapore and China. Established in 2007, it is built on the vision of being “a thriving city which is socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource-efficient.” Located in the city’s Binhai New District, the community will cover a land area of about 30 square kilometers. When completed in 2020, it will house approximately 350,000 residents.

South Bend, Indiana had a serious problem: wastewater spilling into the St. Joseph River and welling up in basements. The city’s wastewater pipes and treatment facilities just couldn’t handle the volume.

Bauru, a town most famous among Brazilians as the city where soccer superstar Pelé grew up, is a busy college town and transportation hub located at the centre of São Paulo. But Pelé isn’t the only bright light the town will ever know. Installation of over 2,000 LED traffic lights from Council member GE made their mark on the municipality’s traffic and -- in a very substantial way -- on its coffers.

A consortium of companies is taking energy conservation to the next level by creating an entire eco-minded neighborhood just outside of Paris, France.

An “intervention” staged at a long-abandoned building in Molise, Italy was designed to bring it up to current energy efficiency standards and to give it a useful life again. For the lighting system alone, the estimated electricity saving is about 50-60 MWh, corresponding to a saving of about 10,000 Euros (roughly $13,000).

Seattle, Washington has a goal to better understand how to create economic opportunity for the city while saving energy and developing a sustainable urban environment. Council member Microsoft has been working with Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to develop an approach to driving energy efficiency at city scale

The city of Bremen, Germany wanted to unify more than 1,200 municipal properties under a single, open building management system (BMS) to optimize the efficiency of heating systems and reduce energy consumption. The challenge was that six control stations across the city were running a variety of proprietary building control systems.

Looking at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard today, it’s hard to imagine the dynamic 1,200-acre mixed-use campus as the country’s first naval shipyard – a place where historic ships were once built and some of the Navy’s most significant technological advances achieved.

Libreville is the capital of Gabon, a rapidly developing country in west Africa. Recent growth – to almost 1 million people – has outpaced the city’s ability to accommodate change and has taken place largely without the benefit of comprehensive urban planning. As a result, Libreville suffers from unplanned land uses and incompatible development.

Building smarter, more sustainable cities requires the support of public, private and civic stakeholders. Envision Charlotte is charting a new course. By taking a holistic and integrated approach to engaging these disparate groups and demonstrating the benefits – both environmental and economic – of lasting change, the initiative has assembled a strong consortium of public and private interests with shared vision and momentum.

What will homes of 2040 be like? What should they be like? Council member Enel, a forward-thinking Italian utility, turned to the wisdom of the masses to uncover truly transformational ideas that will result in the homes of the future today. Through its subsidiary Ampla in Brazil, it launched a crowdsourcing platform that will aid in the sharing and selection of ideas for building an efficient, smart and sustainable home.

Sports franchises everywhere are competing for eyeballs with big-screen HDTVs, all manner of mobile devices and other venues broadcasting games. So officials at Florida’s Sun Life Stadium – home of the Miami Dolphins football team – considered ways to make the game-day experience for fans even better. They decided to borrow some smart cities technologies.

When energy demand is high and supply is short, San Francisco, California-based Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers financial incentives to companies that reduce their load in response to a request.

In 2011 the Electric Power Board (EPB) installed a smart grid in Chattanooga, Tennessee that has achieved a 55% reduction in outage time. The area’s businesses will save an estimated $40-$45 million a year, while the overall savings are likely to be $600 million over the first 10 years of deployment.

Microgrids have been called “the impatient upstarts of our energy future”. They are independent, small-scale electricity systems for communities, towns, campuses and even individuals, delivering integrated distributed renewable energy, improved grid reliability, personal energy use data and customised control.

9REN Group designs, develops, builds and operates renewable turnkey power plants using photovoltaics, solar thermal energy and wind. The Spanish company operates some 570 photovoltaic installations, mainly in Spain and Italy. In addition to photovoltaic plants, the company has built 183 solar thermal plants as well as mini-wind installations. 9REN plants generate more than 10,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean energy each month.

Siemens teamed with Duke Energy to demonstrate the results of an 18-month effort to reduce the cost and expand electric vehicle charging technologies. Council member Siemens provided the first Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to demonstrate the ability to monitor status, report energy use and be controlled locally from the local area network and from the cloud.

Pepco Holdings needed to enhance its electrical system in the Washington, D.C. area. The regulated electric utility turned to Council member Black & Veatch for improvement to a substation and underground transmission system. The goal of the improvement work was to promote energy assurance for the area. It also stimulated the economy in an area that included new federal government facilities and new high-density housing projects.

In 2013, GE and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) celebrated completion of Energy Smart Florida (ESF), an initiative implemented to modernize the electric grid and build out a more reliable and efficient electrical infrastructure. As part of the effort, FPL installed 4.5 million GE smart meters across its 35-county service territory, empowering FPL’s customers to take control of their energy use.

Eight Spanish cities reduced their electricity consumption by 64% and saved over 4,300 tonnes of C02 in 2014, thanks to efficient street lighting systems and technologies that both cut costs and benefit the environment.

As the first American utility to receive smart grid stimulus funding and as the first to be “completely operational with smart grid technology,” Glendale Water and Power (GWP), located in Southern California, is a bit of a smart grid poster child.