News Releases 2019Chugoku Electric, Meiden and Mazda to conduct demonstration experiment on VPP using technology to apply batteries for EVs

Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc., Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) and Mazda Motor Corporation have signed a joint research contract to build a stationary-type storage battery system, which applies batteries for driving electric vehicles, and conduct a demonstration experiment on a virtual power plant (VPP) using the system.

A VPP aggregates and controls diverse distributed energy sources, such as renewable energy generated by general households and factories, Electric Vehicle(EV)s and storage batteries, and operates them as one combined power plant. There are high expectations that VPPs will be used for various services related to power systems, including demand/supply adjustment through power transmission and distribution operators.

The aim of the demonstration experiment is to confirm this possible application of batteries. In the experiment, the three companies will build a system to aggregate and control several such batteries and integrate them with other distributed energy sources, including renewable energies, to evaluate the VPP’s responsiveness and the degradation characteristics of storage batteries, among other aspects. Through the experiment, they intend to gain controlling technologies to optimize the use of renewable energy and control the balance between the power demand and supply.

Specifically, the three parties will install a stationary-type storage battery system, with the new energy resource mentioned, at Chugoku Electric’s Energia Research Institute in Higashi-Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture, which is conducting a demonstration experiment to aggregate and control energy sources from solar power, EVs and electric water heaters, and so on, and their demonstration experiment with the new arrangement will then follow.

In order to achieve sustainable growth, Chugoku Electric is pushing projects to create a new earning base by primarily sparking innovations in electricity businesses and offering solutions to regional problems. To this end, it will employ various resources available to provide excellent, value-added services that can meet the various needs of its customers, including energy resource aggregation businesses (such as those this demonstration aims to evaluate).

Meiden, a heavy electric machinery maker supplying a variety of power conversion systems for energy storage system, has developed the know-how for stabilizing the quality of electric supply and helping electricity users prepare for blackouts. The company will further develop products, technologies and services to cater to the social and regional needs at a time when social infrastructure and energy markets are at the brink of a drastic change.

Mazda is acting on its long-term technology development vision, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030.” The carmaker is strenuously striving to reduce the environmental burden, by reducing CO2 emissions from well to wheel (from drilling fuels from wells to vehicle traveling) and conducting life-cycle assessment. The latter is a technique used to assess automobiles’ environmental impact in all stages of their life, from the procurement of raw materials to production, use, recycle and disposal. The company will promote among local people the extended use of renewable energy generated locally through stationary-type storage batteries used in EVs.

Chugoku Electric, Meiden and Mazda will aim to maximize their individual technological strengths in expanding the secondary use of batteries for EVs. This will entail realizing a resource circulation through the supply chain of batteries and proliferating the use of renewable energy. Through these undertakings, the three companies will gain new technologies for creating new services that fuse elements in cars and energy, contributing to the global environment and regional society.

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