A tech company is spending $200M to build a 20-mile ghost town in N.M.

It will be built to resemble a typical American town, to house 35,000 (pretend) residents. The city-sized petri dish may give companies a place to test out their technologies.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Most cities are just big laboratories. But people, quite frankly, can get in the way of turning crumbling, city infrastructure into a smart one.

A Washington D.C.-based tech company wants to create a ghost town in New Mexico, to give companies and organizations a place to check the limits of renewable energy systems, smart grid cyber security, wireless systems, and traffic on a large scale before they implement it into a real city.

The planned city is expected to help understand the challenges of upgrading cities to the smart grid.

Pegasus Global Holdings is the tech company behind the so-called The Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, or The Center for short.

“The idea for The Center was born out of our own company’s challenges in trying to test new and emerging technologies beyond the confines of a sterile lab environment,” Robert H. Brumley, Pegasus Global’s CEO said in a statement. So the tech company decided it should built that sterile environment. It is spending $200 million to create the modern day ghost town.

Roads, new and old buildings, and other city structures will give companies, not for profit, educational institutions, and government agencies an uninhabited place to test out their technology.

The planned ghost town may lack all the variables that make a city tick, but at least, the city-scale laboratory will create jobs. The Center is expected to create 350 jobs in New Mexico (and possibility a few thousand more down the line).

Photo: flickr/ Wolfgang Staudt

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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