Toshiba has signed an agreement with Tokyo Electric Power Company Energy Partner (TEPCO EP) and the city of Yokohama, Japan, to promote a demonstration trial of the control of multiple, grouped storage batteries as the basis for building a battery service business.
In Japan, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, easing reliance of rigid supply systems based on traditional large-scale centralized power sources while ensuring effective and stable use of rapidly expanding renewable energy has become a pressing issue.
In adapting to this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is promoting the construction of "virtual power plants" that apply advanced energy management technologies to centralized control of end-user side resources, such as demand response, renewable energy, storage batteries, and so on, scattered throughout the power grid.
Toshiba Corporation will participate in the demonstration trials with TEPCO EP and Yokohama as an initiative toward promoting the construction and commercialization of a service business for controlling multiple storage batteries in groups, a requirement for fully functioning virtual power plants.
In the trial, storage battery equipment will be installed in elementary and junior high schools designated as regional disaster centers in Yokohama. TEPCO EP will use storage battery group control systems developed by Toshiba to adjust power supply (demand response) during normal hours, while City of Yokohama will use them to provide electric power in the event of a disaster or other emergency.
Commenting on the trial, Mr. Ryuji Maruyama, Vice President of the Solution & Services Division in Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Company said, "This demonstration trial with TEPCO EP and Yokohama will not only allow us to accelerate commercialization of a service business to control groups of environmentally-friendly storage batteries at a low cost, it will also bring us closer to achieving viable virtual power plants and distributed power supply, and to the realization of resilient power supply systems that secure more efficiency and less waste. Toshiba is focusing on platform businesses that sustain people and the future of society, and I believe technology for integrated control of storage batteries and negawatt technology on the Toshiba IoT platform will be a big step toward the practical use of VPP."