Mitsubishi Electric to invest JPY7 billion in smart grid technology


Tokyo, Japan — (METERING.COM) — May 18, 2010 – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is to invest a total of 7 billion yen (US$75.6 million) by March 2012 in a project to test and demonstrate smart grid technologies within the company’s production sites in Japan.

The project is expected to enable the company to get a toehold into the global smart grid technology market and according to a statement, will contribute to its efforts to support the adoption of sustainable power supplies worldwide.

The experimental facilities will be built at Mitsubishi Electric’s three Japanese domestic production sites located in Amagasaki, Wakayama and Ofuna. The facilities will be connected by a wide-area communication network and will be remotely monitored.

At the Amagasaki site, located in Hyogo Prefecture, installations will include a 4 MW photovoltaic system, a 500 kW rechargeable battery for transmission purposes, a power system simulator, power system stabilizer, 150 smart meters, an electric vehicle charging station and other related equipment. Advance metering infrastructure and an advanced energy management and distribution automation system will monitor and operate the assets and equipment. The total system will be used to demonstrate the benefit of smart grid technologies in each sector of the electricity industry.

The company will also install a 200 kW photovoltaic system at its Wakayama site, located in Wakayama Prefecture, and a demonstration facility at its Ofuna site, located in Kanagawa Prefecture. To demonstrate optimal energy management in private residences, the facility in Ofuna will feature a residential photovoltaic system, appliances for all electric homes, smart meter, home gateway and other network connected equipment.

The plan is to equip each site with the components and build systems required for the company to begin basic experiments by March 2011. By March 2012, the company plans to conduct full-fledged experiments, including analysis of power supply when electricity generated from renewable energy sources flows into power grids.

Mitsubishi Electric’s smart grid business will be carried out as a company-wide project spanning the company’s five business segments. In April 2010, Mitsubishi Electric established two project teams to promote development in smart grid technology. The Power Grid Project in the Transmission & Distribution Systems Center will be responsible for smart grid electric systems and equipment. The Next Generation Energy Communication Project in the Communication Networks Center will be responsible for the smart grid communication network.