Greenbiz.com Features L.C. Fulenwider, Panasonic and Peña Station NEXT
Heather Clancy at Greenbiz.com has a nice article regarding Peña Station NEXT and Panasonic and LS Fulenwider's involvement. Below is an excerpt with a link to read the full article.
The plan for Peña Station NEXT, a 400-acre "transit-oriented" smart city development on the train route connecting Denver to its international airport, emerged several years ago after a key division of technology champion Panasonic picked up and relocated its headquarters there.
Officially opened in April 2016 (well, at least a portion), the much-hyped project is, among other things, a showcase for the possibilities of microgrids that combine solar panels and energy storage. The ambitious blueprint includes smart LED street lights with video analytics features for safety and parking applications, community wireless services, electric vehicle charging stations and self-driving shuttles.
Given how many smart city prototypes are under way around the world, the idea behind Peña Station isn't extraordinarily unusual. But the business model behind this "living laboratory" is one that's worth careful consideration. It took 15 individual contracts to get the operation off the ground, said George Karayannis, vice president of CityNOW, Panasonic's North American smart city initiative, spearheaded by the company's Enterprise Solutions division.
"That is black-belt project management, and it could only happen when we had everyone committed," Karayannis added.
The airport owns the structures that host these solar panels, but the local utility owns the systems. The five core project partners in the "portfolio" microgrid that is central to Peña Station included Panasonic, of course, which is investing in storage as a resiliency option for the operations hub it has created with the Peña Station development and is serving as project manager; investor-owned utility Xcel Energy, which owns the solar panels and the electricity they're generating; the Denver International Airport, which owns the land and the steel of the canopy holding the solar panels; energy storage technology vendor Younicos; and real-estate developer LC Fulenwider.