An uninhabited playground for green tech and innovative experiments is in the works to be built in New Mexico. The pseudo town will be used to research and test new green tech, wireless and traffic technologies in real-world-but-controllable conditions, like a Sim City minus the citizens.
Washington, D.C.-based Pegasus Global Holdings, an international technology testing firm, is behind the project, known plainly as The Center for Innovation, Testing and Innovation. The company was inspired by their own needs to test products on a large scale outside of the lab.
While there have been similar government-sponsored testing grounds built, this is one of few created by a private corporation. According to Pegasus, it will also be the world’s largest.
The Center will mimic an average mid-sized American town of 35,000 (invisible) people. It will contain about 20 square miles of old and new commercial and residential buildings, suburbs, rural satellite towns. Pegasus expects to spend $200 million to complete the project.
Pegasus will lease its blank slate of a city to a variety of organizations, including the military, non-profits, university scientists, private companies and federal labs, and The Center hopes to attract investors to projects tested at its facilities.
The project will allow for controlled testing in a setting truer to life than a typical lab. Researchers will be able to control and change setups to fit the needs of their experiments. For example, a solar technology developer might set thermostats in nearby homes to different temperatures to study their units’ energy delivery capabilities.
When it opens, The Center is expected to create 350 jobs in New Mexico, and as many as 3,500 more in other parts of the country as the project gains steam. Its business plan centers around selling energy produced on site to the grid, charging maintenance and operation fees and subleasing land for commercial and tourism development.