Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Hitachi poised to attack US smart grid market

Steve Rogerson
June 14, 2016
 
Japanese company Hitachi has established an energy division to attack the smart grid market in North America.
 
The division aims to propose, develop and finance operations and maintenance activities using digital technology, integrating the operational technology it has built up over time in the electric power and energy sectors.
 
Under the Paris Agreement adopted at the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change in 2015, the USA set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent relative to 2005 levels by 2025. As a result, the USA is moving towards greater reliance on renewable energy and distributed power generation.
 
Moving forward, the USA will need to address issues related to securing supply on electricity transmission and distribution networks and dealing with an aging power distribution infrastructure and investment constraints. As a result of on-going power and energy-related deregulation, there is considerable activity in areas such as investment that will enable the use of IT and OT to maintain the efficient and reliable operation of plants and equipment.
 
For example, in addition to the penetration of smart meters reaching 76 per cent or more, the installation of demand management systems for maintaining voltage stability on distribution networks is also progressing, while a variety of ancillary markets aimed at balancing power supply and demand continue to be created.
 
Hitachi has a long track record of supplying a wide range of energy services, primarily in Japan, to stakeholders such as existing power companies, new power providers and consumers. These products include transmission and distribution, substation, and grid systems; management services for consumers; and the implementation and operation of systems for Japan's comprehensive liberalisation of the electricity retail market. Hitachi is also participating in demonstration projects around the world.
 
In North America, Hitachi has secured contracts to conduct more than ten microgrid-related feasibility studies in New York as part of the governor's New York Prize project. Hitachi is also conducting a demonstration project involving a grid stability and control system intended for the transmission and distribution grid that is aimed at preventing large-scale power outages in the western USA.
 
In New Jersey, Hitachi is conducting the trial of an energy storage system intended to help maintain grid stability while actually participating in power transactions. In Hawaii, it is promoting initiatives aimed at achieving the latest in energy management, with demonstration projects including controlling the charging of EVs through demand response with a central control system, and a virtual power plants that perform electrical discharges from EVs.