SAN DIEGO, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 new Civita master-planned development in Mission Valley.
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.
"We are proud to be working together with Sudberry Properties on the new Civita community," said Jim Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. "We commend Sudberry for their vision in adopting new smart grid technologies that enhance reliability and empower our customers to live in a more energy-efficient manner. This project will help create a new type of sustainable community that can serve as an inspiring example for our region in the future."
"With our focus on sustainability, we look forward to working with SDG&E to use the latest energy-efficient technology to simultaneously benefit the environment and provide useful services to residents," said Marco Sessa, senior vice president of Sudberry Properties. "We hope these innovations, coupled with the extensive water conservation measures that we are employing, will make Civita a model for future development."
Civita is located in the heart of Mission Valley on 230 acres that were once a sand and gravel quarry. 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 kilowatt 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.
"The Civita project is consistent with what we are trying to achieve here in San Diego," said Mayor Jerry Sanders. "By integrating solar power, clean transportation and energy efficiency into the very foundations of our homes and businesses, we can help preserve the environment while strengthening our community overall."
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.
In the future, residents also may be empowered to take greater control of their energy usage through home area network technology. These devices give customers the ability to conserve energy and save money by providing real time energy usage data and enhanced control of in-home appliances. To demonstrate this new technology on site, SDG&E is looking into creating a "smart home" at Civita that will be fully equipped with a home area network that gives residents the ability to control smart appliances remotely from outside the home or power them on or off automatically based on money-saving electric pricing signals.
"I am proud that the Civita project is taking shape in the heart of Mission Valley," said Lorie Zapf, San Diego city councilmember. "The whole community will benefit from Civita's clean energy and energy efficiency advances and will be energized by the development of a lively and productive new neighborhood in the area."
In addition to customer conservation, Civita will surpass current California energy efficiency standards by at least 15 percent by using highly-efficient residential lighting and Energy Star appliances, which will allow the buildings to operate on less energy than standard new buildings. SDG&E and Sudberry also plan to install on-site fuel cells that will supply low-emission electricity to the grid. The heat generated by the fuel cells will be captured and used to heat a swimming pool at Civita year round, increasing the overall efficiency of the fuel cell system. These advances demonstrate why the community's master plan already received a "gold" rating under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot and the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, which is California's highest environmental honor.
Working together with SDG&E, Civita could become one of the first communities in the nation to be fully upgraded with smart grid technology and stand at the forefront of the broader transformation of the electric grid. SDG&E is currently upgrading the region's electric system into a smart grid, which uses new technology, software and computing to promote renewable energy integration, enhance reliability and provide innovative energy efficiency programs for customers. SDG&E has launched one of the most ambitious smart grid deployment plans in the nation that calls for an investment of approximately $3.5 billion from 2006 through 2020, which will result in between $3.8 and $7.1 billion in related benefits and newfound efficiencies. SDG&E has received several national awards for these efforts, including being named "Most Intelligent Utility" for three years in a row by Intelligent Utility Magazine and receiving POWER magazine's prestigious 2012 Smart Grid Award.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
San Diego-based Sudberry Properties specializes in urban retail, community, and town center developments with an emphasis on mixed-use projects and master-planned communities. Since its inception in 1979, Sudberry Properties has developed approximately 10 million square feet of retail, office, apartments, and industrial projects with a market value exceeding $1.5 billion. Projects include Village Walk at EastLake, Carmel Mountain Ranch Town Center, Fenton Marketplace, Rio Vista Shopping Center, and Cornerstone Business Center. Currently, in addition to several retail town centers, the company is developing the $2 billion mixed-use Civita masterplan, a walkable village in Mission Valley that is transforming a 70-year-old sand and gravel quarry into a hip, stylish address that incorporates urban conveniences within a stunning garden setting.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric