If you think ghost towns are dusty places out West that have been abandoned for centuries, you'd be mostly right. But the latest ghost town to surface in New Mexico will actually be a brand new one. A tech company yesterday announced plans to build a 20-square-mile model of an actual American town of 35,000—minus any actual residents—in what the AP is calling an "unprecedented" science experiment. Everything from renewable energy technology to smart traffic systems will be tested in "The Center," which, though people-less, will contain homes, highways, and office buildings.
The CEO of Pegasus Global Holdings gives one example of The Center's many potential uses: Solar technology developers could test their systems in one home whose heating system is set at 78, and another that is set at 68. There will also be a mix of new and old buildings, for further diversification. The price tag for this scientific playground, which will be housed on state-owned land, either in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor or in the Las Cruces area? $200 million. But once it's up and running it will make money, by selling energy to the grid and charging fees to those using it. (Read more science experiment stories.)