New Mexico will build renewable energy ghost town

It won’t be New Mexico’s first, or even 20th, ghost town. But it will be the first to be built intentionally.

Part of the NM ghost town of Lake ValleyPlazak via Wikimedia Commons. Part of the NM ghost town of Lake Valley

The blandly named Center will occupy 20 square miles, complete with highways and houses and commercial buildings in newer and older styles. It will be home to 35,000 hypothetical people but not a living soul.

The very real infrastructure, says builder Pegasus Global Holdings, will allow innovators, whether from New Mexico’s nearby government labs or from California’s Silicon Valley, to test renewable energy innovations in real world conditions. How does a solar panel work on a shadier lot? How much does a smart meter save in an older house with hypothetical residents who run the A.C. constantly?

A renewable energy ghost town is particularly fitting in New Mexico, which has seen a mining boom and bust and a nuclear boom and bust. Backers are hoping The Center, which will start out with a payroll of 350, will be the germ of a renewable energy boom in the Land of Enchantment. They hope the mock town will draw investors as well as innovators, potentially eventually creating a technology corridor like Silicon Valley.

A $200-million ghost town strikes this writer as strangely auspicious step toward getting serious, on the national level, about cleaner energy and the long-term economic growth it could deliver — in sharp contrast to the 1980s British ska take on the «Ghost Town» theme.

Source / Fuente:

Author / Autor: Cameron Scott (EmailTwitterFacebook

Date / Fecha: 07/09/11

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