Japan–US Collaborative Smart Grid Demonstration Uses Fuji Fuel Cells

18 May 2012

The building's micro-grid uses four power sources including 80 kW fuel cells from Fuji Electric.

Mesa del Sol Smart GridThe Albuquerque Business District Smart Grid Demonstration Project has been launched, and includes nine Japanese companies in collaboration with US partners. The Japanese companies are cooperating under an agreement with the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and will undertake a demonstration study for the project. The study will continue for two years, ending in March 2014.

NEDO is investing $22 million in the smart grid system, which has been installed in the Aperture Center in the Mesa del Sol mixed-use planned development in Albuquerque. In addition to funding the system, NEDO will monitor and test the system for the next two years. Once complete, the entire project will be turned over to the University of New Mexico’s Center for Emerging Energy Technologies for continued research and smart grid development.

The project objective is to innovate smart grid control to overcome the challenges presented by the intermittency associated with renewable energy sources.

The building has a peak power requirement of 400 kW and its micro-grid uses four power sources:

  • 80 kW fuel cells;
  • 50 kW photovoltaic (PV) solar power generation system;
  • 240 kW gas-engine generator;
  • 90 kW battery system (160 kWh storage).

By controlling each of these power generation systems, the demonstration study will:

  • Perform demand and supply adjustment within the building based on anticipated requests from a commercial electric utility supplier (based on its power demand estimates);
  • Operate the power generation systems according to energy and heat demand within the building itself;
  • And compensate for power output fluctuations in the PV power generation system of the regional utility company.

US project participants include Mesa del Sol, PNM Prosperity Energy Storage Project, utility supplier Public Service Company of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Accenture and the University of New Mexico. Their involvement will allow for a demonstration that encompasses supply-side and demand-side cooperation.

The participating Japanese companies signed a project implementation agreement with NEDO in August 2010. By September 2011, they had completed the design and manufacture of the Project’s various power sources, heat source equipment and control system. Between October 2011 and April 2012, they transported, installed and adjusted the equipment at the building site.

The participating Japanese companies are:

Fuji Electric Co., Ltd: Design, procurement and performance verification of fuel cells.

Shimizu Corporation: Design and establishment of overall micro grid system, building energy management system (BEMS) and heat storage air-conditioning system; management and verification  of entire system.

Toshiba Corporation: Design, establishment and performance verification of smart grid’s energy management system (utility side).

Sharp Corporation: Design, procurement and performance verification of photovoltaic power generation system.

Meidensha Corporation: Design, procurement and performance verification of power control system (PCS) for photovoltaic power generation.

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd: Design, establishment and performance verification of distributed power source management method. 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd: Design, manufacture and performance verification of gas-engine power generator and its control system.

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd: Design, procurement and performance verification of battery management system.

Itochu Corporation: provision of management support to the project site.


Tokyo Gas

Mesa del Sol


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