T&D World Magazine

Japan Collaborates with United States on Maui Smart Grid Project

The United States and Japan are collaborating on a Smart Grid Project in Hawaii. Hitachi, Cyber Defense Institute, JFE Engineering, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard Japan, and Mizuho Corporate Bank, have been selected as contractors for the joint project on Maui. The project will be spearheaded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), with Hitachi serving as the project leader. Currently, 15 percent of Maui’s electricity supply is generated by renewable energy.

Hitachi and the other five participating companies will conduct a feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the middle of September 2011. Based on those results, it is anticipated the project will be implemented by the end of March 2015.

The Smart Grid project is supported by NEDO, in cooperation with the State of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Co., the University of Hawaii, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, whose involvement is based on the Japan-U.S. Clean Energy Technologies Action Plan.

To eliminate the impact of output fluctuations from renewable energy on power frequencies, the participating companies will establish an EV Energy Control Center to create a smart grid on an island without alternative energy source from other grids that is based on EVs' expected large penetration. They will facilitate comprehensive 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), which will control the demand-supply balance in the power grid of Maui Electric Company.

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

In order to promote the establishment of 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, which will utilize best practices developed from the project along with other demonstration projects being conducted by American companies in the Wailea distinct of Maui. The committee will also discuss international standards.

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