Tokyo, Japan – The U.S. and Japan will collaborate on a “smart grid” project on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Hitachi will serve as the project leader and coordinator, with numerous cooperative companies supporting the project including Nissan, Verizon, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard Japan and the University of Hawaii.

Hitachi and five of the participating companies will conduct a feasibility study, expected to be completed by September 2011. Based on the study results, the project is expected to implemented by March 2015. It is aimed at demonstrating a world-leading “smart grid” on the island, where 15 per cent of the electricity supply is already generated by renewable energy with plans to increase the percentage going forward.

The goal of the project is to verify cutting-edge technologies in a smart grid under the use of large volumes of renewable energy already in place, contribute to smart grid standards, and implement a low-carbon social infrastructure system that efficiently uses renewable energy on a remote island where electricity costs are relatively high.

The companies will build and test a system that includes power distribution control, electric vehicle operation and charging control, multiple types of rapid chargers, and information and telecommunications technologies. Part of the demonstration plan includes using electric vehicles as the stability function for the grid. These technologies will be implemented to eliminate the factors causing power voltage impacts in the distribution grid, and fluctuations in power frequency when large volumes of renewable energy with weather-dependent tendencies are added to a power grid.

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