Madrid, Spain --- (METERING.COM) --- July 14, 2009 - The Malaga SmartCity initiative has been launched introducing a new urban energy management model in a bid to improve energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and shift consumption to renewable energies.

The €31 million project involving eleven companies under the leadership of Spanish energy company Endesa, aims to provide a holistic response to the environmental challenges facing consumers.

SmartCity is to be carried out in Malaga’s Playa de la Misericordia section, involving 300 industrial customers, 900 services providers and 11,000 households, over a period of four years. Renewable energy sources will be linked up to the grid to more closely match generation to consumption by installing photovoltaic panels on public buildings, using micro power generation in some hotels and installing micro wind power systems in the area. There will be energy storage systems in the form of batteries, so that some of the energy can be used later in climate controlling buildings, lighting public areas and electric transport. Similarly, to encourage the use of electric cars, recharging stations will be installed and a small fleet of vehicles will be dispatched. Above all, however, end-user buy-in throughout the process will be at the center of the effort.

All customers participating in the project will receive smart meters to make more sustainable consumption easier. The installation of smart and advanced telecommunications and remote control systems will permit real time and automated adjustments to the distribution network for a new form of energy management and better service.

A later stage involves analyzing the usage and efficiency data generated and applying the insights gained to other urban areas to upgrade the current energy model to a more sustainable one. The project targets energy savings of 20 percent and 6,000 tonnes fewer CO2 emissions each year in the project area.

The SmartCity budget is partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with backing from the Junta de Andalucía and the Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). Malaga was chosen as the project site as it meets all the requirements to ensure the project’s success, including high growth potential, huge technological capacity, universities and businesses, strong government support and an excellent electrical infrastructure.

Other partners in the project are Enel, Acciona, IBM, Sadiel, Ormazábal, Neo Metrics, Isotrol, Telvent, Ingeteam and Greenpower. Other contributors include various universities as well as national and regional research centers.

SmartCity is set to become a global model in developing cutting edge technology on a par with other programs already in operation in Stockholm, Dubai, Malta, Ohio and Colorado, Endesa said in a statement.

The project is part of the EU’s 20-20-20 plan which establishes objectives for 2020 of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent, reducing CO2 emissions by twenty percent and increasing renewable energy sources to 20 percent of the energy mix.