Smart Grid - NEDO Project
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From 2009 - 2015, Los Alamos County partnered with the Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the State of New Mexico, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) on the U.S.-Japan Demonstration Smart Grid Project in New Mexico.  It was the first smart grid project to demonstrate high penetration of renewable energy on a microgrid to meet a residential community's needs.

Utilizing a one megawatt solar array and large-scale lead acid and sodium-sulfur batteries, NEDO, DPU and LANL demonstrated photovoltaic penetration levels ranging from 25 to 50 percent on a residential neighborhood of 1,600 homes.  

Electric loads were balanced and output fluctuations were absorbed through a Micro Energy Management System (Micro-EMS).  Additionally, the Micro-EMS had forecasting and scheduling abilities, making the renewable energy from the photovoltaic array firm and dispatchable.

Smart meters were installed on the 1,600 homes in the microgrid.  Residential volunteers agreed to participate in a demand response study with Kyoto University, testing volunteers' response to varying price signals.   

The project also featured a demonstration smart house that was tied to the microgrid.   Highly intelligent Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) communicated within the house and with the electric grid to optimize the home's energy usage, allowing electric demand to be responsive to smart grid signals.  

 At the end of the NEDO demonstration period, the equipment was transferred to the DPU, Currently, DPU provides all its customers with electricity from the utility-scale solar array located at the East Jemez landfill site. The Micro EMS schedules the charging and discharging of the battery systems to reduce peak loads. 

Read the Final Japan & U.S. Demonstration Project Report