April 21, 2011 - NEC Corporation, a leading network, communications and IT company, and Enel Distribuzione, the Distribution System Operator of Enel SpA, announced the signing of an agreement launching a strategic partnership on the development of new technologies and solutions in the domain of Smart Grids.

Under the strategic partnership, Enel Distribuzione and NEC will undertake joint feasibility studies as well as deploying advanced, flexible and cost-effective solutions for smart grids, focusing in particular on energy storage. The partnership will leverage on NEC’s expertise in intelligent systems for energy collection and storage.

The two companies will launch a pilot project testing energy solution systems based on lithium ion batteries, developed by NEC and applied to the Enel distribution network.
Within the framework of the agreement, the two companies will leverage their technological and operational assets to jointly evaluate a wide set of solutions for Smart Grid and Smart Cities. These solutions will initially be analyzed and tested in Italy.
 
“NEC aims to cultivate its smart grid business as a building block for its global energy business expansion, leveraging on core in-house competences developed over the past decades. We believe Enel Distribuzione’s industry status and proven track record in the deployment of smart grid technologies is an important factor for our common success. Such technologies will also contribute to the construction of strong urban infrastructure that reliably stands up to earthquakes and other natural disasters.” said Mr Junji Yasui, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board, NEC.

“With this strategic partnership, Enel aims to enhance its leading role in smart grid development and innovation. Through demonstration programs, we will concretely measure the capability of storage systems to increase the hosting capacity of dispersed generation and advanced functionalities to control voltage level” said Livio Gallo, Managing Director of the Infrastructures and Networks Division of Enel.

The agreement was signed in the presence of a member of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The Ministry, represented by Secretary of State for Economic Development On. Stefano Saglia, has recently been analysing potential collaboration areas between the Italian government and NEC Corporation. This is part of its creation of strategic partnerships with Italian companies in the area of smart grids.

The agreement also encompasses a range of additional areas and technologies related to smart city projects. This is a sector in which Enel is already an active player, working with various municipal authorities, serving as the ‘voice’ for existing technologies and their energy efficiency capacity, by developing smart grid technologies, e-mobility and energy efficiency projects for end-users.