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Aiming for a low-carbon society on the island through maximum use of renewable energy
In Hitachi's vision, smart cities seek to deliver quality of life (QOL) while also satisfying the demands of society (such as making extensive use of renewable energy), based around solutions that fuse information and control technologies. Hitachi is actively involved in the deployment of these smart city solutions outside Japan, including being entrusted by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to participate in the Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project. This demonstration project runs up until the end of FY2014 and is being conducted in collaboration with partners which include the State of Hawaii, the County of Maui, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Maui Electric Company, Ltd., the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute of the University of Hawaii, and other partners.
We could look at renewable electric energy, and renewable energy has existed a long time in the Maui county, we could cut the costs for government tremendously. We could raise the quality of life for people in our community because we could also allow them to cut their costs.
We understand that as an island community, there are very many similarities to all the island nations as well. None of us has petroleum, natural resource, we don't have natural gas and we don't have coal.
We all have wind, we all have solar, and as island nations we have abundance of ocean around us. If we can coordinate a lot of the different components and we can find solutions, we can cut our costs and dependency on foreign petroleum.
Increasingly severe global environmental problems are prompting international interest in the adoption of renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve greater diversity in energy supplies, the introduction of electric and other new-generation vehicles, and more efficient energy use to encourage energy savings.
The islands of Hawaii aim to obtain 40% of its electric power generation from renewable energy sources by 2030, and has already made considerable progress toward the adoption of renewable energy. This includes wind power in particular, and also other forms such as biomass and photovoltaic (PV) power generation. This rapid adoption of renewable energy has also brought certain problems that are characteristic of island power grids, including fluctuations in frequency caused by the variable output of renewable energy sources, and voltage rises during periods of sunshine due to the increasing amount of PV capacity that is being connected to low-voltage distribution systems.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to become more widely used in the future. Recognizing their potential for helping to minimize these problems and achieve the target of 40% renewable energy, an EV energy control center (EVECC) has been installed to manage EV charging throughout Maui. Other equipments has also been installed, such as micro distribution management systems (μDMS), home gateways and smart power conditioning systems (PCS)*1 equipped with communication functions. These equipments manages demand in the island's Kihei district and minimizes the voltage problems caused by PV power generation. Hitachi will build the smart grid system and handle project management in its role as the company responsible for demonstrational research.
Japan U.S. Island Grid Project (Outline)
Hitachi has adopted six specific advanced measures for the demonstration project.
The first is to make efficient use of the large amount of renewable energy generation that has been installed. Utilizing advanced load shifting technology, highly efficient energy use can be achieved by incorporating predictions of the output of renewable energy generation into existing power demand forecasting.
The second initiative is to deal with rapid changes in supply and demand that are characteristic of renewable energy. This involves the direct control of EV charging and various household equipment to manage electric power use in a way that ensures that people's daily lives are not impacted by, for example, sudden lulls in the wind when using wind power generation.
Through initiatives such as, providing the equipment and systems needed to support the widespread adoption of EVs, maintaining the security needed to ensure safe system operation, using distributed control for fine-grained energy management, and establishing information and control platforms based around the smart city center, the project aims both to create a low-carbon society on Maui and to deliver quality of life (QOL).
Hitachi's Six Advanced Initiatives