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Press Release

NEDO Launches Its First Demonstration Project in Italy

-Verification of Energy Efficiency Performance After Installation of Voltage Source Converter for High Voltage Direct Current Transmission System-
February  25,2016
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

NEDO and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), which is under the umbrella of Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development, reached an agreement to jointly carry out a demonstration project on energy efficiency to disseminate a voltage source converter. A memorandum of understanding for the project was concluded by NEDO and ENEA on February 24, 2016.

The project will feature the installation of an advanced Japanese voltage source converter for high voltage direct current transmission systems to verify the advantages of the technology as well as its energy efficiency performance. The project will be NEDO’s first demonstration project in Italy.

  • Direct Current Transmission

1. Project Overview

High voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems can transport enormous amounts of electricity. Such systems have been widely introduced in European countries in order to stabilize and strengthen power grids and also respond to increased use of renewable energy.

In light of the above, NEDO and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) *1, which is under the umbrella of Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development, agreed to jointly carry out a project to demonstrate the advantages of a voltage source converter (VSC)*2 for HVDC transmission systems. With the goal of disseminating the converter technology, NEDO and ENEA concluded a memorandum of understanding for the project on February 24, 2016.

The project will be undertaken for two years starting in fiscal year 2015, and Toshiba Corporation was selected to carry out the project work. Advanced Japanese technology for a VSC for HVDC transmission systems will be installed at ENEA’s Casaccia Research Center to demonstrate the advantages of the technology as well as its energy efficiency performance in what will be NEDO’s first demonstration project in Italy. Due to the unique characteristic of the VSC’s main circuit configuration, it does not require transformation facilities or ancillary work, resulting in reduced installation space and lower cost. In this project, continuous operating reliability will be evaluated by verifying an AC-DC conversion control function that enables multilevel output suited to high voltage transmission, which is the converter’s specialty.

The results of the demonstration in Italy are expected to promote the dissemination and expansion of HVDC transmission systems in such areas as offshore wind power, which are promising end-use areas for the project's VSC.

2.MOU Signing Ceremony

On February 24, 2016 at ENEA’s headquarters in Rome, Mr. Munehiko Tsuchiya, Executive Director of NEDO, and Professor Federico Testa, ENEA Commissioner, signed the MOU to establish a bilateral cooperative structure for promoting the demonstration project in the presence of Ms. Teresa Bellanova, Vice-Minister of Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Japan’s Ambassador to the Republic of Italy.

【Glossary】

*1 The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development is a national laboratory that was established in 1952. As ENEA is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economic Development, it conducts research and development based on Italy’s energy policy. The agency focuses on new fields such as renewable energy as a result of a recent energy policy change although it had previously focused on research and development related to nuclear power generation.

*2 A voltage source converter can perform a higher speed of control than a conventional line-commutated converter. For this reason it can be applied to weak AC power grids where the voltage and frequency of power are unstable due to the connection of a number of renewable energy sources. It can also be applied to power grids with no AC sources, such as power grids on remote islands, and multi-terminal power grids, including multi-terminal HVDC offshore wind power systems.

3.For more information, please contact:

Energy Conservation Technology Department, NEDO
Tel: +81-44-520-5284­

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