Fresh on the heels of new data that shows business leaders are prioritizing collaboration as the gateway to innovation and growth, a new partnership just launched today in San Diego, California to accelerate the rollout of smart grid technologies, clean energy, and one of the most comprehensive electric vehicle infrastructure plans in the country.
The new “Smart City San Diego,” unveiled today at UC San Diego, is designed to position the San Diego region as a leader in energy management, with the eventual goal of driving more efficient, reliable, and sustainable energy into everyday living
The partnership is a collaboration among the City of San Diego, utility San Diego Gas & Electric, UC San Diego, nonprofit CleanTECH San Diego and GE (our recent infographic shows GE’s grid-to-home technologies). The idea behind the initiative is that by combining the skills of a mix of innovators — from government, business, education and non-profit sectors — the region can speed adoption of key technologies and benefit from the latest thinking.
At the heart of the partnership is a series of EV initiatives that include demonstrating smart technologies that better manage grid power loads in order to enable rapid EV growth; streamlining home and public charging permitting processes to speed adoption of EVs; and leveraging UC San Diego’s extensive solar and fuel cell renewable energy work to find new ways to draw on clean power sources. The partners will also quantify the economic impacts of the EV initiatives — such as the business and job growth that result — and they’ll study consumer behavior to better understand decisions and to identify other potential EV initiatives.
The new push comes just as California set a target of generating 33 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020 — and San Diego itself is prepping for one of the largest initial deployments of EVs in the country.
Meet the San Diego ‘chargers’: On the plus side, EVs could reduce U.S. oil importation by 52 percent, and electricity costs per mile are expected to be approximately one-quarter to one-third the cost of gasoline per mile. However, grid reliability and consumer acceptance and education have to be tackled first in order to ensure that the integration happens seamlessly. GE’s WattStation EV charger is seen above.