The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that regional think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley is launching a partnership with Google, Yahoo, Intuit and others to develop a smart energy grid in an 8.25 square mile zone in North Mountain View and North Sunnyvale. There are 300 businesses in the zone and estimates are that the area requires just under 200 megawatts of power. Energy consultant Don Bray will head up the venture.
Details about the smart energy zone are sketchy but it appears that it’ll include renewable energy sources like solar and fuel cells and quite likely some energy storage. Bray says he expects both private investments from companies involved as well as infrastructure investments from the public and utilities. This type of project hints at the move into microgrids and I wonder if this is an early pilot for seeing if corporations can start generating and taking control of their power in cooperation with utilities.
What’s different about this project than say India, where corporations generating their own power is the norm, is that here almost 300 businesses are going to have to work together to generate a lot of power and balance a grid. Here’s to taking the smart grid into your hands.