Southern Company subsidiaries Alabama Power and Georgia Power are creating state-of-the-art “smart” neighborhoods. Alabama Power partnered with developers, technology vendors and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to create the Smart Neighborhood™ at Reynolds Landing, outside of Birmingham. The community is a real-world research and development project focused on how cutting-edge technologies will help homes function more efficiently while providing more convenience to homeowners, and how advanced communities will impact the electric grid. The homes feature emerging, energy-efficient materials and appliances. The Smart Neighborhood™ is powered both by the traditional electric grid, as well as a community-scale power system called a “microgrid,” which is composed of solar panels, battery storage and back-up generation. With the capacity to generate more than 600,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, the microgrid can potentially power the entire community, if needed. On Atlanta’s Upper West Side, Georgia Power is creating a similar townhome community, Altus at the Quarter, where power from the grid is supplemented by rooftop solar installations and in-home battery storage. Data and insights garnered from the homes, distributed generation and other systems will help determine which programs and services provide the best solutions for customers.