Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO) (TOKYO:6971), the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan and a number of other companies, research institutes and local governments involved announced the start of operations of a state-of-the-art, international smart-grid demonstration project in Los Alamos, New Mexico (U.S.A.).
The project is a collaborative effort between NEDO, the New Mexico state government, the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) — a national research center which is run under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Energy. It aims for the wider implementation of renewable energy and the promotion of energy conservation through the use of smart grid-related technologies. Specifically, technologies that can provide a significant portion of renewable power for the electric grid to meet a community's residential need. Data collection and analysis is set to run until March 2014, at which time opportunities will then be provided for other companies and institutions to utilize the resources to conduct further academic research and product testing.
On September 17, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the launch of the project which was attended by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, LANL Director Dr. Charles McMillan, Kyocera Vice President Tatsumi Maeda and a number of other prominent public and private sector figures.
Overview of the ProjectThe project is located at three sites in Los Alamos and Albuquerque, of which Kyocera is participating in two: the Smart-Grid Demonstration and the Smart House Demonstration in Los Alamos. Furthermore, Kyocera will be commissioned to lead the Evaluation of Distributed Energy Resource (Photovoltaics, etc.) within the Collective Research portion of the overall project. The Smart-Grid Demonstration in Los Alamos consists of a power supply micro-grid which uses power distribution lines from a large-scale solar power plant to utilize related technologies and performance, and to minimize the effects of power output fluctuations. Kyocera supplied a 910kW multicrystalline silicon solar module array *1. Furthermore, as the site of the solar power plant will be built over a reclaimed waste disposal landfill, Kyocera applied its expertise in selecting and installing base mounting optimized for dynamic soil conditions. For the Smart House Demonstration in Los Alamos, Kyocera constructed a hybrid energy management system which uses a 3.4kW residential solar power generating system, 24kWh lithium-ion storage battery and an energy-efficient heat storage unit. By operating a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) equipped with communication equipment and sensors, the Smart House helps to optimize energy usage from the solar power generating system, storage battery, power grid and smart appliances that allow for electric demand in the house to be responsive to smart grid signals.