Micro Grid Knowledge has a great article by Elisa Wood about Peña Station NEXT. Below is an excerpt and a link to the entire article.
Denver’s Peña Station NEXT offers an energy planner’s dream: 382 acres where engineers can start from scratch in creating a clean energy community.
No legacy power plants to accommodate, no wires and poles and substations to navigate — the open landscape near Denver International Airport is a rare find in a nation with near ubiquitous electric infrastructure.
Located near a transit station by the same name, the smart energy community is being planned by a powerhouse team that includes technology giant Panasonic, local utility Xcel Energy, the city of Denver and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The team hopes that Peña Station NEXT will offer a community model that they can replicate elsewhere. That’s the dream. Now comes the hard work, moving it into engineering and economic reality.
The first step, an anchor microgrid, is complete, offering energy for a transit station built as a connector between downtown and the Denver International Airport. Nearby is the community’s first building, the national headquarters of Panasonic.
Next, the partners are tackling more complicated steps, trying to figure out how to configure the energy infrastructure for the yet-to-be built community of homes and businesses — and perhaps most significantly, how to pay for it.