Scroll down for quick news takes and events involving Smart Cities Council Partners.
Smarter water resources management for a quickly growing county
Virginia's Loudoun County is among the fastest growing counties in the U.S. — and industrial and residential demand for water is growing right along with it. When Loudon Water, the local water utility, decided it needed a tech upgrade to sustainably meet growing needs, it chose an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) from Council Global Lead Partner Sensus. The utility's decision has not only improved customer services and data collection and measurement, it also has given the utility the flexibility to scale up its operations to meet the constantly increasing demand for water.
Council Global Lead Partner Huawei and German tech subsidiary DU-IT have expanded an existing agreement with Duisburg, Germany to transform the city of roughly 500,000 residents into a digitized model smart city that can be replicated throughout western Europe. With Rhine Cloud, Huawei's smart city and public services cloud platform, the city will see increased connectivity and digital innovations in several areas, including more Wi-Fi hotspots, traffic management, the use of indoor mapping technologies and other digital services.
A quest for better (and cheaper) solar PV technology
Council Global Lead Partner Enel subsidiary Enel Green Power is working with a European Union-supported initiative to cut the cost of solar PV technology and its related management expenses. The project also will focus on improving solar PV technology to increase its efficiency and life cycle. R&D will be conducted on a solar farm Enel is building in southern Europe. Initial results of the project are anticipated to be available in 2020.
Smart pavement for safer roads
Smart pavement equipped with fiber-optic sensors could be a very real contribution to safer roads and travel. The Colorado Department of Transportation recently awarded startup Integrated Roadways with a $2.75 million contract to test and evaluate the technology. Council Global Lead Partner Cisco and others are partnering with the company to evaluate how well the technology can monitor environmental conditions and determine the speed and direction of vehicles. For example, if a vehicle left the pavement at a speed and trajectory that suggest it had run off the road, the pavement would alert emergency responders. The pavement slabs will be built in sections in factories, not installed onsite which is expected to greatly simplify construction and maintenance.
Connecting First Nations to reliable power
The Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project has chosen Council Lead Partner Hatch as the owner's engineer for 1,120 miles of transmission lines to connect 17 First Nations to the Ontario, Canada power grid. The First Nations communities are now living off-grid and using expensive diesel to provide electricity to homes and businesses, which has become financially unsustainable and unable to meet the current needs of the growing communities. Funded by the Canadian and Ontario governments, one primary project goal is to establish a transmission business that would eventually be owned and operated by First Nations.
Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.