Inside Boston's Smart Utilities Program, which plans to update the city's infrastructure and be more sustainable

By District Energy posted 09-09-2021 11:29

  

Insider

Summary

When Boston's Smart Utilities Program pilot was approved in 2018, then-Mayor Martin J. Walsh said it would "move Boston closer to becoming a 'smart city' by working with the private sector to implement new technologies that will benefit our entire city."

"We know in order to build a more resilient Boston, we must prepare our infrastructure today for a changing climate," Walsh, who now serves as the US Secretary of Labor, added.

To meet that goal, Boston is focusing on a handful of smart-utility technologies, including a district energy microgrid, green infrastructure, smart streetlights, and more.

While the technologies are at various stages of implementation, the city has been laying the foundations and engaging key stakeholders — including businesses, universities, and the public — for years, 
Manuel Esquivel, the city's senior infrastructure and energy planner, told Insider.

"People continue to show up, all of the different agencies continue to show up, proving how important the conversation is," he said, adding that the committee created in 2016 to study the program prelaunch continues to meet regularly.

In the early days of what became the Smart Utilities Program, the Boston Planning and Development Agency and other city departments began discussing how district energy microgrids, often used by healthcare and higher-education campuses, could be beneficial at the community level, Esquivel said. Community-wide microgrids could reduce emissions, energy use, and costs and make onsite energy more resilient, Esquivel, who also works with the city's Community Energy Planning Program, said.

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side Boston's Smart Utilities Program, which plans to update the city's infrastructure and be more sustainable


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