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Japan companies set off Japan-U.S. smart grid demo project

24 May 2012

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Nine Japanese companies have begun a demonstration study for the Albuquerque Business District Smart Grid Demonstration Project consigned to them by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on May 17. The project is to be carried out as part of its Japan-U.S. Collaborative Smart Grid Demonstration Project. The demonstration study will continue for two years, ending in March 2014. The participating companies include Shimizu Corp., Toshiba Corp., Sharp Corp., Meidensha Corp., Tokyo Gas Co, Ltd, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Fuji Electric Co. Ltd, Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd and The Furukawa Battery Co. Ltd.

The Project demonstration study will be conducted using an existing three-story commercial building with about 7,000m2 floor space and an electric power load near 400kW. A micro grid (to supply power from the demand side) will be installed in the building from power sources consisting of a 50kW photovoltaic (PV) power generation system, a 240kW gas-engine generator, 80kW fuel cells and a 90kW battery system. By controlling each of these power generation systems, the demonstration study will (1) perform demand and supply adjustment within the building based on requests from a commercial electric utility supplier, (2) operate the power generation systems according to energy and heat demand within the building itself, and (3) compensate for power output fluctuations in the PV power generation system of the regional utility company.

Project participants from the U.S. side will include the regional utility firm—Public Service Company of New Mexico—as well as Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the University of New Mexico. Their involvement will enable a collaborative smart grid demonstration encompassing cooperation between the utility and demand sides. In addition, Accenture and Itochu Corp. will respectively undertake Project data management and demonstration site management support.

The nine Japanese companies signed a project implementation agreement with NEDO in August 2010. By September 2011, they had completed the design and manufacture of the Project's various power sources, heat source equipment and control system. Between October 2011 and April 2012, they transported, installed and adjusted the equipment at the building site.

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