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2020 ISGAN Award of ExcellenceNEDO Demonstration Project in Slovenia Won the Highest Award For the First Time in Japan
―In Recognition of the Project’s Achievements and Future Potential―

July 31, 2020
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has been carried out a Smart Community Demonstration Project in Slovenia jointly with Hitachi, Ltd. and ELES, d.o.o., Slovenia’s state-owned electricity transmission system operator. Today, we are pleased to announce that the Demonstration Project has achieved the highest award, the “Winner”, at the 2020 ISGAN Award of Excellence, an international award given to projects that have made an outstanding contribution in today's world and will benefit in the future.

ISGAN (International Smart Grids Action Network), an international platform for the development smart grids operated under a framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA), recognizes internationally remarkable Smart Grid projects through an annual ISGAN Award of Excellence Competitions, and this is the first time for NEDO and a Japanese company to receive that honor.

the Demonstration Project
Image of the Demonstration Project


The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Hitachi, Ltd. and ELES, d.o.o., Slovenia’s state-owned electricity transmission system operator, launched the Smart Community Demonstration Project*1, funded by the Governments of Japan and Slovenia, to validate the ability of a cloud-based integrated Distribution Management System (DMS*2) and an Advanced Energy Management System (AEMS*3). During the 1st Phase (2016-2019), DMS, a system that would save initial investment and maintenance costs through cloud computing, was installed in the existing electricity distribution network in Slovenia. Deploying and verifying its value-added functions, such as technologies to maintain appropriate voltage levels, shorten the length of power outages and reduce peak demand, the project also confirmed the system’s effectiveness. In the 2nd Phase (started from 2018), a cloud-based AEMS, a multi-functional technology for advanced energy control using distributed energy resources such as storage batteries, has been demonstrated under the expanded project themes. Since its beginning, the demonstration has been taking place at many locations across Slovenia; therefore, the Government of Slovenia recognizes the project as a national project. Every progress on the project is regularly reported to Slovenia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and Ministry of Infrastructure.

This time, the demonstration project has achieved the highest award, the “Winner”, at the 2020 ISGAN Award of Excellence in recognition of the project's achievements and potential toward the future. The project aims to develop technology that effectively utilizes consumers’ resources through the digitization of grid systems, and has been recognized as a smart grid technology to realize energy management in a way that would benefit both the power suppliers and the consumers. This is the first time for NEDO and a Japanese company to be granted the highest award, the “Winner”.

The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) *4 is a public network operated under the International Energy Agency (IEA) whose mission is to enhance the development and adoption of smart grid-related technologies worldwide. The ISGAN Award is jointly sponsored by the ISGAN and the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF) *5. Achieving the award within the framework composed of 26 national and local governments, research institutes and the industry shows that this demonstration project has internationally recognized and highly evaluated.

2.Overview of the Smart Grid Demonstration Project

In the 1st Phase (November 2016-December 2019), a cloud-based integrated DMS that could be used by multiple electricity distribution companies was developed. Centralizing and installing servers in a data center in a suburb of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, the integrated DMS services were provided to two power distribution companies. In addition to the basic functions, the integrated DMS is also equipped with a voltage optimization function that can eliminate one of the obstacles to the mass adoption of renewable energy. The integrated DMS has also high value-added functions such as a grid failure recovery support function to minimize the length of power outages and a demand response (DR) *6 function to control peak demand.

The demonstration for the DR function was carried out with a full cooperation of local partners. To encourage Slovenian residents participated in the project to reduce electricity consumption during peak hours, such measures as the introduction of a program in which the participating residents could receive a financial benefit with lower electricity bills for a certain period of time were taken funded by the Slovenian side. As a result, the controlled demand peak has led to the elimination of the need for augmentation of some of the electricity network facilities and reduction of the power network rates, presenting a possibility that both the suppliers and the consumers could benefit from each other.

In the 2nd Phase (scheduled October 2018-March 2021), the AEMS developed in this project with storage batteries, BEMS*7and HEMS*8 installed on the demand side were all linked with the aim of establishing energy service businesses for large consumers and electricity retailors. By doing so, technologies for islanding (autonomous operation during grid failure), ancillary services (frequency control to electricity transmission system operator) and voltage dips mitigation measures expect to be validated on the actual grids in cooperation with two other distribution companies.

3.Current Efforts and Future Plans

The 1st Phase of the demonstration project was completed in December 2019, and Hitachi, Ltd. and ELES, d.o.o. are working to spread the project achievements, including a business model that offers the cloud-based DMS as a service, beyond the demonstration sites based on the analysis and evaluation results of the data obtained. The basic design and manufacturing of the demonstration equipment for the 2nd Phase have been completed, and the project is now getting into full-swing with plans for the installation and the operation. Islanding, one of the demonstration themes, is particularly drawing attention as a technology that could increase the resilience of power networks as the damage caused by natural disasters are intensifying globally in recent years, raising expectations toward early implementation.


*1 Demonstration Project
Project Name: Smart Community Demonstration Project in Slovenia
Project Duration: FY2016 - FY2020 (scheduled)
*2 DMS
The abbreviation for “Distribution Management System”, a system to control the electric distribution network
The abbreviation for “Advanced Energy Management System”, an energy management system for large consumers and electricity retailors
*4 International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)
ISGAN aims to promote the development and dissemination of smart grid-related technologies on a global scale toward the expansion of renewable energy introduction, the reduction of energy consumption and the wider adoption of grid stabilization technology. Launched as an International Energy Agency (IEA) Implementation Agreement at the second Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM2) in 2010, the international initiative now has 26 member countries. Nominated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, NEDO has been the member from Japan.
*5 Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF)
The GSGF, an international organization that brings together smart-grid-related industry organizations and companies from around the world, facilitates collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of smart grids, and shares technologies and measures related to smart grids in each country. The Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) is a GSGF member from Japan.
*6 Demand Response (DR)
Demand Response (DR) is to change power consumption patterns to encourage consumers to reduce their use of electricity at the request of the grid operators when the reliability of the power network deteriorates.
The abbreviation for “Building Energy Management System”, a system to manage the flow, generation and consumption of the energy within a building to achieve efficient energy use.
The abbreviation for “Home Energy Management System”, a system to manage the flow, generation and consumption of energy for households to achieve efficient energy use.


(Inquiries related to this news release)

NEDO Smart Community Department

Contact Persons: Yokota, Nagayoshi, Kumadaki TEL: +81-44-520-5274­­