Energy / Climate Change

February 15, 2006


Test Starts for 100% Renewable Energy Microgrid using a Private Transmission Line

Keywords: Environmental Technology Government Renewable Energy 

A test to demonstrate a new decentralized energy supply system using a private transmission line (5 kilometers in length) has started in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, it was announced on October 17, 2005 by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an independent administrative agency. In this test, a total of 710 kilowatts of electricity generated by gas engines, photovoltaics and wind turbines, is being supplied to city hall, elementary and junior high schools and other buildings in the city. The test is part of a new energy technology development program being promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Under this program, a similar test was conducted at the 2005 World Exposition site in Aichi Prefecture, but this is the first time in the world that this kind of program is using a private transmission line network.

Recently there has been a lot of interest in microgrid systems, which can operate to provide as much energy as required by users within a limited area that has a number of decentralized power systems installed and comprehensively controlled. In the microgrid system in Hachinohe, natural energy sources such as solar and wind that are vulnerable to weather conditions are combined with other, more controllable power sources, including a biomass power generator using sewage sludge gas from a sewage treatment plant and rechargeable batteries. This allows the system to generate electricity from 100 percent renewable resources. Since the system supplies an appropriate amount of electricity and heat according to demand and also uses biomass resources, it is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent compared to previous levels.

Over the next two years, NEDO intends to collect data on the quality and cost of the electricity supplied, analyze these data, and assess the system's cost-efficiency and environmental impacts. In the final phase of the test, the microgrid system will be operated as a stand-alone network, separate from the utility grid.

Posted: 2006/02/15 11:43:13 AM
Japanese version