Japan-U.S. collaborative smart grid demonstration project launched in Albuquerque


Manny Barerra,
Director of
Mesa del Sol
Albuquerque, NM, U.S.A. and Tokyo, Japan — (METERING.COM) — May 22, 2012 – A smart grid demonstration study, to be carried out as part of the Japan-U.S. Collaborative Smart Grid Demonstration Project, has been launched in the Albuquerque district of Mesa del Sol with the objective to innovate smart grid controls to overcome the challenges presented by the intermittency of renewable energy sources.
The demonstration will be conducted using the Aperture Center, an existing three-storey commercial building in Mesa del Sol, with approximately 7,000 m2 in total floor space and an electric power load near 400 kW. A microgrid will be installed in the building from power sources consisting of a 50 kW PV power generation system, a 240 kW gas-engine generator, 80 kW fuel cells and a 90 kW battery system. By controlling each of these systems, the demonstration study will perform demand and supply adjustment within the building based on requests from the electric utility supplier, operate the power generation systems according to energy and heat demand within the building itself, and compensate for power output fluctuations in the PV power generation system of the regional utility company.

Partnering with Mesa del Sol on the demonstration is Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), PNM, Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and nine major Japanese companies, Shimizu Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Sharp Corporation, Meidensha Corporation, Tokyo Gas Co., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fuji Electric Co., Furukawa Electric Co., and Furukawa Battery Co.

The local utility is the Public Service Company of New Mexico. In addition, Accenture and Itochu Corporation will respectively undertake project data management and demonstration site management support.

NEDO is investing $22 million in the project. Once complete, the entire project will be turned over to the University of New Mexico’s Center for Emerging Energy Technologies for continued research and smart grid development.

“The new smart grid has a building management system that is automated and manages the electric supply and distribution between our on-site generation sources, energy storage and PNM’s power grid,” explained Manny Barerra, Mesa del Sol’s director of engineering.

The demonstration study will continue for two years, ending in March 2014.