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Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Project Inc. is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems.
The initiative began in 2008 as a community collaboration to reinvent the energy system. Representatives of the founding members – the City of Austin, Austin Energy, The University of Texas, the Austin Technology Incubator, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Environmental Defense Fund – enlisted the participation of nearly a dozen private companies to explore the technical, economic and policy implications of an energy system that relies on better energy efficiency, locally generated renewable energy and a new economic model for electricity utilities. The result of the group's initial effort was a March 2010 report of recommendations to the Central Texas community.
During that initial effort, the founding partners formed a stand-alone non-profit organization called Pecan Street Project Inc. that would carry on the effort's vision beyond the release of the report of recommendations. The organization was incorporated in August 2009, before the report of recommendations was released.
The new organization's first objective was a successful application for a U.S. Department of Energy stimulus grant for a Smart Grid Demonstration Project at Austin's Mueller community. The grant was awarded in November 2009, and the demonstration project is currently being implemented.
In addition to implementing the demonstration project, Pecan Street Project Inc. continues to explore additional demonstration and research projects, as well as promotion and advocacy of the vision and recommendations outlined in the group's report of recommendations.