The Port of San Diego has announced its role as the first demonstration site in a series of regional public-private smart building initiatives led by local trade association Cleantech San Diego and a team of Internet of Things (IoT) technology providers to advance the region’s smart city goals.

The term “IoT” refers to intelligent machine-to-machine applications that use smart sensors to collect information from devices and systems to increase overall automation and efficiency.

As urban populations continue to grow, cities around the globe are looking to new technologies to help manage resources in a more sustainable and cost-effective manner. Combining end-to-end IoT gateway solutions provided by Intel Corporation, OSIsoft, Black & Veatch, Dell, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), this smart building project uses sensors to detect energy consumption and translate it into easy-to-manage, real-time data for building operators at the Port of San Diego to act upon.

“We sincerely thank each of these companies for the expertise and equipment they have donated to launch this first important step,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Bob Nelson. This increased demand-response capability allows Port building operators to analyze energy use patterns throughout the facility, identify abnormalities, and adjust behaviors accordingly, which is expected to result in energy savings, cost savings, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Port of San Diego will be the first demonstration site for these smart technologies to be tested, proven, and hopefully replicated regionally and beyond,” said Nelson. “The Port is passionately committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and we are grateful to now have smart sensors, big data, and predictive analytics as powerful tools in our arsenal toward achieving our greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

The Port of San Diego was among the first ports in the nation to adopt a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2013. The CAP provides a long-term strategic vision for the Green Port Program, and calls for 10 percent reductions of all greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 25 percent by 2035 compared to 2006 numbers. Recent information shows the Port has made significant progress towards its 2020 goal, reducing approximately 56,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and achieving over 50% of the 2020 goal. The use of smart sensors to detect and stop wasted energy in buildings supports the goals of the Port’s CAP and is anticipated to contribute to future declines in greenhouse gas emissions.