A technology investment company is planning to build a replica city in the New Mexico desert, in order to test Smart City and renewable energy technologies.
Pegasus Global Holdings, which describes itself as an international technology development firm, says its Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation will cover 20 square miles and will resemble a mid-sized American city, including urban canyons, suburban neighborhoods, rural communities and distant localities.
The facility will allow technology companies, university and urban planners to test the "positive and negative impacts of smart grid applications and integration of renewable energies, … technologies emerging in intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks, smart grid cyber security and terrorism vulnerability," it says.
"A lot of these technologies do not take into account the fact that you need to bridge between the old infrastructure and the next generation," Fletcher Brumley, managing director of Pegasus Global Holdings’ UK division and son of the group’s CEO, Robert Brumley, told Information Age this morning. "You need to be able to test how you can build these technologies on top of legacy infrastructure, but there’s nothing like this in the world yet."
Whether clients populate the facility with human test subjects is up to them, he says, but Pegasus will install technology that can simulate fluctuations in energy consumption.
The company chose New Mexico because there are "a lot of federal laboratories situated there, and there’s a large talent pool focusing on this kind of technology".
Brumley said the company is currently undergoing a feasibility study to ascertain the best precise location. The group currently estimates that building the facility will cost $200 million, but that may change depending on the results of that study.
Pegasus is a "self funded", privately-owned holding company which acquires and develops intellectual property in the energy and defense technology sectors. CEO Robert Brumley, Fletcher’s father, is a veteran telecommunications industry executive, having held positions at Deutsche Telekom and Bell Atlantic. He was formerly CEO of mobile satellite services provider TerreStar Networks and a director at telephony carrier iBasis.
The company is also planning a commercial space launch facility.