Source: Energy Manager Today | Karen Henry | September 21, 2015

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will invest almost $10 million to expand smart cities technologies that promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The investment is part of the Obama Administration’s new Smart Cities Initiative to help local communities address the effects of a changing climate and improve the delivery of city services.

The Administration announced nearly $70 million in new spending and over $45 million in proposed investments to unlock new solutions in safety, energy, climate preparedness, transportation, health and more, by the DOE, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.

DOE will take the following steps to support the emergence of smart, energy-efficient and low-emission cities:

  • Over $3 million in proposed funding to advance smart building technologies that optimize operational performance, maximize energy savings and enable smart communications within buildings, from building to building and from buildings to the grid. The DOE will lead a new collaborative effort with multiple private sector groups to leverage the work of the existing Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator to promote better access to building energy data in new cities across the country.
  • A Smart Grid Integration Challenge for Cities, offering at least $1 million in funding. DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will launch a new challenge competition in 2016 to support city efforts to implement sensing, data sharing and data analytics to achieve city goals for reducing energy consumption. The competition will be open to city governments that have already developed a roadmap or an action plan with clearly defined targets for energy consumption reduction for the entire city.
  • With $5 million in new research funding, DOE will launch a Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility consortium to examine the nexus of energy and mobility for future transportation systems. Initial research will focus on connected and automated vehicles, urban science, decision science, multi-modal transport and integrated vehicle-fueling infrastructure systems.

The Smart Cities initiative will include more than $160 million for federal research and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations.