Mitsubishi Electric to Invest 7 Billion JPY in Smart Grid Technology

May 19, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced that it will invest a total of 7 billion yen by March 2012 in a project to build facilities within the company’s production sites in Japan for experiments designed to establish advanced smart grid technologies. The project will contribute to the company’s efforts to support the adoption of sustainable power supplies worldwide.

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

At the Amagasaki site, located in Hyogo Prefecture, Mitsubishi Electric will install a 4-megawatt photovoltaic system, a 500-kilowatt rechargeable battery for transmission purposes, a power system simulator, power system stabilizer, 150 smart meters, an electric vehicle charging station and other related equipment. Advanced Metering Infrastructure, 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-kilowatt 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.

By March 2011, Mitsubishi Electric plans to equip each site with the components and build systems required for the company to begin basic experiments. 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 aims to market smart grid related products and systems in the near future, and contribute to the realizing of a low carbon society.

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.