Kyocera Corp. has been selected to participate in a smart-grid demonstration project in New Mexico, which is being undertaken by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.
The project is a collaborative effort among NEDO, the New Mexico state government, Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, and a national research center, which is run under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Energy. The project aims for the wider implementation of renewable energy and the promotion of energy conservation through the demonstration of smart-grid related technologies — which are difficult to conduct experimental studies on in Japan due to the difference in preexisting power grids.
In June 2010, Kyocera was officially selected as one of the participants in the project after NEDO conducted a survey of companies applying to its November 2009 public bidding. Under the consignment agreement with NEDO, the project is to be carried out through March 2014 (first phase of the agreement ends in March 2012, when NEDO will conduct a mid-term survey to determine renewal terms).
"With the growing expectation for smart-grid technology seen in recent years, Kyocera is extremely happy to have been commissioned for part of NEDO's important Japan-U.S. Smart-Grid Demonstration Project," stated Kyocera Corporation President Tetsuo Kuba. "Using our solar energy technology as a foundation, we will aim to utilize our participation in this project to supply smart-grid related products and develop energy management technologies to create new business opportunities."
The project will take place at three sites in Los Alamos and Albuquerque, of which Kyocera will be participating in two: the Smart-Grid Demonstration and the Smart House Demonstration in Los Alamos. Furthermore, Kyocera will be commissioned to lead the Evaluation of Distributed Energy Resource (Photovoltaics, etc.) within the Collective Research portion of the overall project.
The Smart-Grid Demonstration in Los Alamos will construct a power supply microgrid that uses power distribution lines from a large-scale solar power plant to demonstrate the related technologies and performance, and to minimize the effects of power output fluctuations. Kyocera will be supplying a 910kW multicrystalline silicon solar module system. Furthermore, as the site of the solar power plant will be built over a waste disposal landfill, Kyocera will also be selecting and installing base mounting optimized for dynamic soil conditions as well as constructing a data collection system to develop a method for system fault analysis at isolated facilities.
For the Smart House Demonstration in Los Alamos, Kyocera will be leading the construction of a hybrid energy management system, which uses a 3.3kW residential solar power generating system, 20kW storage battery and heat storage unit. By operating a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) equipped with communication equipment and sensors, the Smart House helps to optimize energy usage. The Smart House will be monitored and compared to other conventional homes in the surrounding area for demonstration purposes.
Kyocera will also be in charge of the Evaluation of Distributed Energy Resource (Photovoltaics, etc.) within the Collective Research portion of the overall project. This involves: 1.) Performance evaluation of the 10 types of solar modules used at the Los Alamos Smart-Grid Demonstration site; 2.) Comparison of photovoltaic performance data collected from other demonstration sites in both Japan and the U.S.; 3.) Evaluation of fuel cell and gas engine performance from the Albuquerque demonstration site.