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Smart Commercial and Residential Center at Assembly Square



The key to successfully making the City of Somerville carbon-neutral is to understand the way the city demands and manages its energy. In order to achieve this goal, it’s necessary to discover ways to optimize electricity generation and distribution while also influencing the community to move in the direction of more responsibly using electricity.

Taking advantage of the technological capabilities available today (i.e. Information and Communication Technologies, Electric vehicles, Efficient lighting technologies, Energy efficiency applications and devices, etc.), our proposal is to make Assembly Square Marketplace the first Smart commercial and residential center in Massachusetts. We want to provide the ability for businesses and residents to produce their own electricity and to store and use energy in a clean, easy and economical way. The proposal includes a set of services and products that could contribute to reducing electricity consumption by about 20-30% on an annual basis. The net-zero approach would be achieved thanks to the integration of on-site renewable generation. The application of this advanced solution would allow the building to be self-supplied and save money on electricity consumption.

A big TV screen placed within the commercial center and/or a set of interactive kiosks in the center would show real-time data about generation and consumption to increase citizen awareness. 

What actions do you propose?

  • Energy efficiency solutions
  • Efficient lighting (indoor and outdoor) solutions
  • Building management system
  • On-site renewable generation
  • Energy Storage

Who will take these actions?

  • Assembly Square commercial and residential buildings
  • The City of Somerville
  • Solution provider (i.e. ENEL Green Power North America)

What are the key challenges?

  • Increase energy efficiency, achieving a 20-30% savings in electricity consumption annually.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and on-site renewable generation.
  • Additional 5-10% energy consumption reduction at City level thanks to “awareness program”.

What are the key benefits?

  • Leverage on distributed generation.
  • Power consumption optimization.
  • Energy Storage application.
  • Community awareness of electricity consumption, GHG emissions and renewable energy technology.
  • Provide additional services (e.g. video surveillance, air pollution sensors)

What are the proposal’s costs?

  • The cost is strongly related to detailed technical information about building design and current consumption behaviors.
  • A high-level estimation would range from 10 to 20 cents/kWh self-produced, including the investment for other applications (e.g. building management system, etc.)

Time line

6 to 9 months from approval to full commissioning.

Related proposals

Value not set.


Reference case:

  • EXPO2015 Milan, Italy, the 1st greenfield Smart City project in the world.
  • Smartcity Santiago, Chile
  • Cidade Inteligente Búzios, Brazil
  • Smartcity Malaga, Spain