Energy Project Profiles


Sustainable low-carbon infrastructure is the cornerstone of modern energy policy. For centuries, cities have been consumers and wasters of energy. With global populations rising and urbanization increasing, cities are at once the most difficult challenge and greatest opportunity for man and the environment. Below is a list of the 10 most innovative urban energy projects as chosen by a panel of external and independent industry professionals for the Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.



Feature Project: Cidade Inteligente Búzios


Brazil is at the forefront of intelligent energy systems with its impressive Cidade Inteligente Búzios project. The country’s first smart city is being launched in Rio de Janeiro and will consist of the installation of smart meters and a new computerized electrical network. These new technologies aim to reduce energy loss, increase the quality of public services and maintain user safety. Among the benefits for consumers are the possibilities of having discounted energy prices dependent on time of usage, consumption control of household appliances, energy savings through the installation of new LED street lighting and increased energy efficiency in public buildings.




Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University Solar Heating System


Saudi Arabia is the poster child for a world fuelled by hydrocarbons. However, the Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University Solar Heating System in Riyadh aims to capitalize on the Kingdom’s other abundant resource – sunshine. Impressively, the university distributes energy over eight square kilometers with a district heating grid supplied by thermal solar collectors and the world’s largest solar hot water system.




Hyllie District Smart Grid


In Sweden, a new district in Malmö hopes to become a global model for sustainable urban development. With up to 9,000 new homes planned to be built by 2030, planners have set an ambitious goal to power the Hyllie District with 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. E.ON and Siemens are working together to deliver the Hyllie District Smart Grid, a project that will feature a range of energy-saving technologies such as distributed energy storage and smart meters that allow end users to control consumption. The smart grid will allow for better management of peak load and overall greater energy efficiency.




Jeju Smart Grid Test Bed


The pilot project in Jeju City, South Korea precedes government plans to roll out smart grids across the nation by 2030 in order to meet carbon emission reduction targets. The project also puts consumers first, as end users will develop a greater awareness of and control over the energy they are using at home, saving money on their electricity bills. It also allows renewable energy from the island’s numerous wind and solar sources to be consumed locally, reducing energy lost during transmission.




Empresas Transoceanica


Empresas Transoceanica is an energy-efficient building in Santiago, Chile. It is located in the capital city’s Vitacura neighborhood, Transoceanica uses geothermal energy and efficient design to achieve one-fifth to one-sixth consumption of the energy demanded for a traditional building. As the country’s first to achieve the LEED gold certification for a new building, it is considered a prototype not just for Chile but all Latin America. Transoceanica provides an inspirational centerpiece for a government eager to develop sustainable building standards.




Durban Waste to Energy


In South Africa, the Durban Waste to Energy project is a model for the continent as it converts methane gas derived from household waste into electricity. Energy is transferred through the city’s existing grid, and supplies roughly 5,000 to 6,000 low-income households per day. It will generate money for Durban through the sale of electricity and carbon credits.




UBC Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility


The University of British Columbia’s Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility will be the world’s first biomass fueled, heat-and-power generation system operating on a scale suitable for communities. In addition to supplying clean energy for the campus, the innovative facility will enable students and faculty members to conduct applied research on bioenergy systems and other green technologies as part of the University’s Campus as a Living Laboratory initiative. The system will be fueled by locally-sourced wood biomass, using up to 25,000 tonnes annually. The facility demonstrates technology developed by Nexterra Systems Corp. and GE Energy. Beyond technology, it showcases the first industrial building application of BC-sourced cross-laminated timber as a viable structural material for multi-storey buildings.




Chennai Solar Economic Zone


Situated near Bangalore, India’s information technology hub, the Chennai Solar Economic Zone is a 312-acre site being developed by GMR Solar to provide a robust ecosystem for the solar industry and its supply chain. The zone is the first phase of an overall 3,700-acre development intended to attract high-tech investment to a growth corridor between Bangalore and Chennai. Overall, the project aims to provide world-class infrastructure and utilities to house all activities related to solar products, including research and development, manufacturing, services and training.




Exelon City Solar


In the United States, Exelon City Solar in Chicago, Illinois claims to be the country’s largest urban solar plant. Located on a 41-acre brownfield site in the city’s West Pullman neighborhood, the 10MW array includes over 32,000 solar PV panels that can generate enough annual electricity to power 1,500 average sized homes.




Brixton Solar One


Although small in scale, Brixton Solar One is another urban PV project that charmed judges with ambition and community spirit. Located on the Loughborough Estate – an economically deprived area of south London in the United Kingdom – the project will be Britain’s first community-run urban solar power plant. PV panels will be installed on the rooftops of the estate in order to generate clean energy for residents. The £75,000 project is being financed through a community share offer, in which local businesses and individuals can invest. It aims not only to generate steady returns for shareholders, but to make a lasting contribution to sustainability and quality of life in the area.




Information contained within the feature project articles and sector articles of the Infrastructure 100 Report are provided by Infrastructure Journal (IJ). Infrastructure Journal assisted with collating and analyzing projects to be considered by regional and global judging panels for the Infrastructure 100 Report, and conducted in-depth research which was used to develop the project profiles contained within the publication. While KPMG makes every attempt to provide accurate and timely information to readers, neither KPMG nor Infrastructure Journal guarantees its accuracy, timeliness, completeness or usefulness, and are not responsible or liable for any such content.

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