San Diego Smart City, USA

Smart City San Diego is a bold, multi-year collaboration combining the resources of the City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, GE, UC San Diego, and Cleantech San Diego. Together, these leading organizations from government, business, education, and non-profit are maximizing synergies to drive existing energy programs forward, identify new opportunities, embrace additional collaborators and move the San Diego region beyond today’s boundaries of sustainability.

Smart City San Diego leverages its strengths and resources as a partnership to develop and implement initiatives that will empower consumers, improve environmental quality, drive economic growth, and reduce San Diego’s reliance on oil. The collaborative is moving the San Diego region toward a more consumer-focused, environmentally conscious energy future by addressing San Diegan’s 21st century energy needs.

Smart Buildings – Port of San Diego

In December 2014, the Port of San Diego became the first demonstration site in a series of regional public-private smart building initiatives led by Cleantech San Diego and a team of Internet of Things (IoT) technology providers to advance the region’s smart city goals. Combining end-to-end IoT gateway solutions provided by Intel CorporationOSIsoft,Black & VeatchDell, and San Diego Gas & Electric, this smart building project uses sensors to detect energy consumption and translate it into easy-to-manage, real-time data for building operators at the Port of San Diego to act upon.

Electric Vehicles

Smart City San Diego is committed to helping San Diego become America’s Finest “Plug-In” Ready City by facilitating the expansion of a public electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure that ensures the safe, reliable, and efficient integration of EV charging loads with the power grid. Smart City San Diego supports the electric vehicle and renewable energy programs already taking place in the region and works to expand those projects by leveraging the capabilities of Smart City San Diego participants.

Street Lights

The San Diego Region Street Light Working Group was established in 2009 as a peer-to-peer energy efficiency initiative. Sponsored by SDG&E’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Partnership Program, the working group is co-chaired by Cleantech San Diego and the City of San Diego. Participating member cities and other public agencies include the Port of San Diego, UC San Diego, and theCounty of San Diego, which are developing and sharing best practices and tools to accelerate the retrofit of the SDG&E service territory’s approximately 145,000 street lights. This regional initiative has the potential to reduce annual street lighting energy consumption by 60 million kilowatts (kWh), which is equal to a reduction of 24,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and an annual savings to taxpayers of $10 million in combined energy and maintenance costs. In terms of economic development, full regional implementation has the potential to create $58 million in combined product and installation revenues while creating an estimated 600 jobs.


The Solar-to-EV project launched by Smart City San Diego in September 2012 is one of the first of its kind in the world. The charging stations use energy from the sun to directly charge plug-in EVs, store solar power for future use, and provide renewable energy to the surrounding community. The site at the San Diego Zoo incorporates 10 solar canopies producing 90 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, as well as five EV charging stations. Using new battery technology, a 100-kW/100-kWh energy storage system is charged by the solar canopies and used to balance sunlight intermittency on overcast days. The storage system also offsets power demands on the grid, especially during peak hours, to charge the vehicles.

Eco Luxury Apartments

Smart City San Diego supported H.G. Fenton Company and its launch of the Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments in Scripps Ranch. This new “smart” living community is designed with photovoltaic solar installations providing 100 percent electricity needs for all 114 units and common areas, garages that are pre-wired for electric vehicle charging, in-home virtual net metering displays provided by SDG&E allowing residents to monitor energy usage, and smart thermostats that can be programmed from anywhere or anytime by computer or smart mobile device. Solterra is the first all-solar apartment complex in San Diego and one of the first market-rate multifamily complexes in the nation to offer “net zero” living to its residents. Residents monitor their energy use in near real-time using in-home displays. SDG&E is testing new technologies that extend the smart meter signal to the apartment units. Residents with smart thermostats have the ability to control via a smartphone. In addition, residents have access to electric vehicle charging on site. Residents living here value the sustainability practices of this apartment community and some have even purchased electric vehicles to lower their carbon footprint. As of December 2013, in-home display devices have been programmed and installed in all 114 units.

Read more: San Diego Smart City


San Diego Smart City, USA was last modified: February 9th, 2015 by Patrick Schuler

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