Switch was recently invited to attend Panasonic CityNOW, a visionary smart city project from the Japanese electronics corporation in partnership with the City of Denver. The project launched in 2015 to help “residents live better, simpler, more comfortable, and more connected,” and to “empower people through the real-time delivery of information and services.” Local to the Switch Denver office, this project aligns closely with Switch’s goal to create technology to bring people and planet to the center of building operations.
Panasonic CityNOW is a completely unique residential development for the U.S. The project features a microgrid; solar cell, controllable smart LED street lights with built in community Wi-Fi; solar parking canopies and Colorado’s first approved autonomous shuttle. Implemented in partnership with Xcel Energy, the microgrid draws on a 1.3MWh solar power generator at Denver International Airport. This microgrid makes the residential area energetically self-sufficient, supplying electricity to the complete 400 acres.
While Panasonic is best known for producing consumer electronics, the company devotes a sizable amount of the business to public infrastructure projects and automotive manufacturing partnerships.
Panasonic brings 40 years of core smart city experience to the Denver development and is implementing technological lessons learned in the initial ‘Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST)’ project. This pioneering Japanese project successfully brought a range of sustainable technologies to 1,000 new homes to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% and water use by 30%, all while using more than 30% renewable energy.
The Switch team was treated to breakfast, a Smart City Innovation Showcase campus tour and a presentation that explored the drivers behind Panasonic CityNOW and the projected outcomes. This local smart city community truly promises impact on a global scale.
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