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Press Release

Implementation of Smart Community Demonstration Projects in California

-Electric Vehicle Driving Behavior and Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance-
September  11,2015
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the State of California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) have signed two memorandums of understanding in order to implement the following smart community demonstration projects in California.

The Demonstration Project for Electric Vehicle Driving Behavior will be carried out in Northern California metropolitan areas with the aim of expanding electric vehicle (EV) travel distances. The Demonstration Project for Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance will be carried out in San Diego to promote the use of storage batteries.

NEDO’s aim is to contribute to the further promotion of renewable energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions through the projects.

1.Project overviews

Based on the memorandums of understanding concluded between NEDO and GO-Biz, the two projects will be carried out in Northern California metropolitan areas and San Diego, respectively.

Demonstration Project for Electric Vehicle Driving Behavior

The United States focused on EVs at an early stage and has been making various efforts to promote their use. In particular, the State of California is currently the leader in private EV sales in the country due to its strong policy of promoting zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including EVs. For example, California has set an ambitious target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on its roadways by 2025. California’s ZEV regulations require manufacturers to produce specific numbers of clean cars, such as EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles, based on the scale of each manufacturer's sales in California. The state’s ZEV regulations also provide EV users access to priority lanes.

However, even in EV driver-friendly California, EVs are mainly used for short-distance travel such as commuting and shopping in urban areas where the charging infrastructure is relatively accessible. This is because many EV drivers have range anxiety and tend to hesitate driving long distances, which is said to be one of the major barriers to promoting EVs on a large scale.

As the use of EVs is one of the important components in forming a smart community, NEDO will launch the Demonstration Project for Electric Vehicle Driving Behavior in Northern California metropolitan areas with the aim of expanding EV travel distances. NEDO will entrust its work for implementing the project to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan North America, Inc., and Kanematsu Corporation.

In cooperation with the State of California and NRG EVgo, a company which provides EV charging solutions, direct current fast chargers will be installed in areas where the number of charging stations is insufficient, and services for EV users, such as a guide-to-next-charger system, will be provided. Changes in EV driver behavior due to these efforts will then be analyzed in order to establish a model for promoting increased use of EVs.

The project is also expected to further expand the EV market in the future through the dissemination of its results to other regions and countries.

  • Demonstration Image

Demonstration Project for Validation of Redox Flow Battery Performance

The State of California has raised its renewable portfolio standard to 33% by 2020. However, issues caused by increased use of solar power, including rapid demand fluctuations that occur in the morning and evening, or the so-called Duck Curve, as well as the deterioration of power quality, have become more apparent. Utilities are therefore required to install large-scale energy storage systems as part of their grid infrastructure under California’s Assembly Bill 2514. Public utility organizations have jointly developed an energy storage roadmap with the aim of expanding revenue opportunities for energy storage systems.

Because redox flow batteries can be used for both fast response and long duration applications, they are expected to be an effective solution to addressing the above-mentioned issues. In cooperation with California’s utilities and grid operators, NEDO will launch a demonstration project using a megawatt-scale system of redox flow batteries as grid storage and will entrust its work for implementing the project to Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

In the project, a redox flow battery system will be constructed at a substation in San Diego over one year. After two years of short- and long-cycle storage operation in a distribution system from July 2016, the technological effectiveness and economic efficiency of the system will be analyzed. The project plans to have the battery system be connected to the transmission system for two more years to demonstrate that it can be operated simultaneously in both power transmission and distribution systems and be used for ancillary services to improve the system’s economic value.

  • Project Image

Through its two projects, NEDO aims to contribute to further promotion of renewable energy and reduced CO2 emissions.

2.For more information, please contact:

Smart Community Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5274

International Affairs Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5190