U.S. Department of Energy
Pecan Street Inc. is developing and implementing an Energy Internet at the 711-acre Robert Mueller mixed-use development in Austin, Texas. Smart Grid systems that form the foundation of this project include home energy monitoring systems, a smart meter research network, energy management gateways, distributed generation, electric vehicles with Level 2 charge systems and smart thermostats. These technologies will be integrated into a smart grid that links 1,000 residences - including 250 newer, green-built homes, 250 homes at least 10 years old that were not green-built and 140 apartments - 25 small commercial properties and three public schools. Over 200 of the residential participants will acquire rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) and 75 homes will acquire electric vehicles with level-2 charging systems through this research trial. The project will also integrate 50 residences with smart water and smart gas meters. Through the use of Pecan Street’s home energy monitoring systems, customers can view their energy use in real-time at the device level, set and track utility bill budgets, have software manage electricity use of individual appliances and sell energy back to the grid; cars connected to the grid can be powered with solar energy and help level loads; and utilities can store power and deliver it when needed. The project team will also develop and test advanced data acquisition and management structures that will transform big energy data into useful information within a secure environment.