OSAKA -- Panasonic will construct an environmentally friendly smart city on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, aiming to throw open the doors this coming summer.
The electronics giant will be the first Japanese primary contractor to head a U.S. project of such scale. The smart city, featuring solar-powered office buildings and other structures, will sit near a new rail station close to Denver International Airport. About 1.6 million sq. meters of land is being developed.
The core contract governing the project as a whole has already been settled. Details of blueprints, procurement and maintenance are to be worked out later.
Local developers and others will construct buildings, while Panasonic will put up funds on a scale of a few billion yen. The Japanese company will also supply solar power generators, LED signboards, and other products and systems. Residences will go up later.
Panasonic established in 2014 one of Japan's largest smart cities in the Kanagawa Prefecture city of Fujisawa, building up expertise along the way. Solar generators and other sources supply all needed power. A delegation led by Denver's mayor toured the Fujisawa smart city in the spring of 2015.
Panasonic targets group sales of 10 trillion yen ($82.3 billion) in fiscal 2018, eyeing enterprise-focused systems as a growth sector. With smart cities seen as a main driver, the Japanese company has been on the hunt for orders in North America. The head of the in-house company handling enterprise systems is stationed in that region. Panasonic is shooting for enterprise system sales of 2.5 trillion yen in fiscal 2018, up 30% from fiscal 2014.