Fourteen Japanese companies have partnered in a project which is aimed at facilitating the integration of renewables into the power grid through the Internet of Things.[quote] The consortium will launch the Virtual Power Plant Experimental Project, a subsidised government initiative by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, an arm of Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry. [Exploring new technologies in Japan’s liberalised market]
The government aims to “re-balance” Japan’s energy mix. One of the consortium partners, Mitsubishi states that, “In the context of electricity deregulation and the reform of electric power systems in Japan, the project is aimed at contributing to the development of new energy management systems and the installation of new infrastructure that will facilitate more efficient energy use.”
Mitsubishi adds that by bundling end-use devices that are distributed across power grids through the Internet of Things, creates a virtual power plant, where demand and supply can be more effectively adjusted for available capacity.
The company adds that adjusting supply and demand will make it easier to introduce renewable energy.
Virtual power plant
The virtual power plant is expected to control power stations, energy storage facilities and electrical equipment at consumers’ factories and offices. [Japanese firms collaborate on grid management]
In a combined statement the consortium said: "The 14 participating companies are aiming to set up a comprehensive system for controlling end use devices and to develop new energy management systems through bundled technology and the installation of renewable energy sources. The initiative is said to be contributing toward the realisation of a low-carbon society."
Excess electricity generated will be stored in batteries. If a power shortage is expected, energy will be discharged from batteries and steps will be taken to reduce demand, such as turning up air conditioner thermostats at offices.
Participating companies include the Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc., Fuji Electric Co., LTD, Sansha Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd, GS Yuasa Corporation, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Nihon Unisys, Ltd., NTT Smile Energy, Ltd., Enegate Co., Ltd., ELIIY Power Co., Ltd., Obayashi Corporation, Kansai Electrical Safety Inspection Association, DAIHEN Corporation, Nature Japan Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Corporation.
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