Published: Sep 06, 2011 8:36 PM EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico, home to several of the nation's premier scientific, nuclear and military institutions, is planning to embark on a science project of unprecedented scale - a petri dish the size of a large U.S. city.
    
A Washington-based technology company announced plans Tuesday to build a 20-square-mile model metropolis that would be used to test everything from renewable energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks.
    
The replica city would be capable of supporting a population of 350,000, but would be the state's newest ghost town.
    
Pegasus Global CEO Bob Brumely says the $200 million project will be a first of its kind in the U.S. and could create a Silicon Valley of sorts in New Mexico.

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