SDG&E, property developers to create smart grid community

San Diego, September 24, 2012 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Sudberry Properties executives were joined by Councilmember Lorie Zapf today to announce plans to create a “smart energy community” for the development.

The plan calls for the potential installation of several new technologies that will make Civita more sustainable and energy-efficient overall, including solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel cell generation, battery storage and enhanced energy management tools for residents. These smart grid technologies will help residents and businesses conserve electricity, preserve the environment and make Civita a model for future low-carbon communities.

Upon completion, this master-planned community will consist of 4,780 residential homes and apartments, and nearly a million square feet of retail and office properties surrounding a large public park and civic center.

The new agreement with SDG&E calls for incorporation of numerous sustainable features as the community is developed over the next decade. For example, Civita already has installed a 145 kW photovoltaic solar array that powers nearly 100 percent of the common area electricity consumption of Circa 37, Civita’s first apartment community.

Civita also features six electric vehicle charging stations and has designated four of these for Car2Go users, which is an innovative program that allows participants to pick up electric vehicles any time they need them. These charging stations were installed by ECOtality, an organization that promotes local electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and will bolster San Diego’s position as a national leader in the use of zero-emissions electric vehicles.

As the community builds out, SDG&E will work to install other smart grid technologies, including automated switches to enhance power flow to the community and battery energy storage devices to produce and store power locally.

These onsite power sources could allow SDG&E to “island” select buildings and other essential areas within Civita to operate independently of the grid and keep electricity flowing to residents during outages. These “microgrid” advances will enhance electric reliability for the community and aid the environment, while also demonstrating the benefits of smart grid technology when deployed on a broad scale.

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