SXSW Eco: How A Neighborhood Became A Smart Grid Laboratory

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pecan-street-project

Image via Pecan Street Inc.

Smart grid“. It’s a term we throw around a lot, but what does it really mean? What does it look like? And more importantly, why should we care about building it?

At this week’s SXSW Eco Conference, we caught up with Colin Rowan, spokesperson for Pecan Street Inc. to find some answers to these pressing questions. Pecan Street is an Austin-based organization working to speed the development of smart grid technologies with the help of a few hundred, very unique Texas homeowners. You might even call them pioneers. With their help, the site of a former municipal airport has been transformed into a living laboratory for the smart grid. Armed with solar panels, electric cars, smart meters and more, these residents are helping researchers and developers fine-tune the technologies that will usher in the next revolution of the grid.

Watch the video interview below to learn more.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

1 Comment

  • Reply October 9, 2012

    Alex Lester

    Good points especially about it being fun. However the ultimate “smart grid” requires no thinking, fun etc. It does require devices that adjust use in a real time interactive way. It is very difficult to do but as with everything you must start.

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