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U.S.-Japan collaboration demonstrating smart grid, smart house in New Mexico

A $52 million United States-Japan smart grid demonstration project has begun operations in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The smart grid set-up will demonstrate how to provide a significant portion of renewable power on the grid to meet residential community needs.

The Los Alamos smart grid demonstration consists of 2 megawatts of photovoltaic power, energy storage and a “smart house” outfitted with “smart” appliances that allow for electric demand in the house to be responsive power grid signals.

The project is a collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of Japan, the New Mexico state government, the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

From now until March 2014, data from the system will be collected and analyzed. After this, opportunities will be provided to other companies and institutions to use the set-up for further research or even product testing.

"In this project, we will demonstrate how a smart house can play an important role from the demand side in a smart grid, where renewable energy such as solar power will be significantly implemented in the future," said Kyocera vice president and general manager of the company's Solar Energy Group, Tatsumi Maeda.

Kyocera is supplying a 910-kilowatt multicrystalline silicon solar module array to the project and has constructed a hybrid energy management system for the smart house.

The energy management system uses a 3.4 kW residential solar power generating system, a 24-kWh lithium-ion storage battery and a heat storage unit. – EcoSeed Staff

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