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U.S., Japan businesses collaborate on smart grid project

Posted: 20 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid? power? energy project? U.S.-Japan partnership?

U.S. and Japan companies have been selected as contractors for a joint Smart Grid Project in Maui, Hawaii Island. Among the companies who will join the project are Hitachi Ltd, Cyber Defense Institute Inc., JFE Engineering Corp., Sharp Corp., Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. The project will be spearheaded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Hitachi will be the project leader and coordinate the entire project.

Hitachi, along with the other five participating companies, will conduct a feasibility study expected to be completed by the middle of September 2011. The project is expected to be implemented by the end of March 2015.

The project plans to demonstrate a world-leading smart grid on the island of Maui, supported by the U.S. State of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company Inc., University of Hawaii and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, whose involvement is based on the Japan-U.S. Clean Energy Technologies Action Plan, which was signed in November 2009.

On the island of Maui, 15 percent of the electricity supply is already generated by renewable energy and there are plans to increase this percentage in the future. The project's goal is to verify technologies in a smart grid under the use of large volumes of renewable energy already in a place where electricity costs are relatively high in a remote island.

The six participating companies will build and test a system that applies the latest technologies to be utilized in power distribution control, demand side load control, control-ICT platform, electric vehicles (EVs) operation and charging control, multiple types of rapid chargers, and information and telecommunications technologies.

With the goal of eliminating the impact of fluctuations from renewable energy on power frequencies, the participating companies will establish an EV Energy Control Center to facilitate energy management for the EVs by linking a Distribution Management System (DMS) to be established in the Kihei district of the island, and an Energy Management System (EMS) that will control the demand-supply balance in the power grid of Maui Electric Company Ltd.

Hitachi will demonstrate the power grid operational stability to address issues of power voltage, surplus electricity and frequency fluctuations from renewable energy using cooperative-controlling EMS, DMS and? (micro) DMS that control the balance of supply and demand in a power grid at the low-voltage transformer level.

To establish an optimal smart grid model for islands without alternative energy source from other grids, the participating companies will create a U.S.-Japan Joint Evaluation Committee. It is said that the Committee will work on creating maximum synergy by utilizing best practices developed from the project along with other demonstration projects being conducted by U.S. companies in the Wailea distinct of Maui.

Hitachi, HP Japan and Cyber Defense Institute will evaluate whether the project meets cyber security standards in the U.S.

Mizuho Corporate Bank will be responsible for the evaluation of the economic viability of the system that is created.





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