Tokyo [Japan], Sept.14 : Kyocera Corporation President Goro Yamaguchi announced today that it has been selected by the Institute of Applied Energy (IAE) in Japan for a subsidized project to test an advanced automated demand response (ADR) system featuring high speed and accuracy.
The project, which began last month, is part of a larger program commenced by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) this year to promote the development of virtual power plants.
With ADR, electricity providers can automatically reduce consumers' power usage in order to balance supply and demand, thus stabilizing the electricity grid.
Kyocera is testing its ADR system as an electricity aggregator (intermediary company between electricity providers and end users) by controlling equipment such as power generators, air-conditioning equipment and storage systems at multiple supermarkets and manufacturing facilities.
Kyocera's goal is to develop a rapid and precise ADR system to help facilitate Japan's "negawatt" exchange market planned to open in 2017 - where end users can sell the amount of electricity that they have saved based on power-saving requests as "negawatts." Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, Japan has sought to reduce reliance on large-scale electricity sources and utilize renewable energy.
Due to the significant growth in renewables in recent years, the Japanese government began supporting various projects to help establish technologies for virtual power plants.
If they can operate like a single large power plant, integrating renewable power generation, energy storage and demand-side measures such as demand response, then it can be used as a solution to effectively utilize renewable energy.
The government program hopes to establish control technologies for virtual power plants exceeding a total of 50MW during a period of five years, and to encourage further implementation of renewable energy.
With the aim of developing technologies to automatically optimize electric power supply and demand, Kyocera has carried out multiple demonstration projects on ADR in Japan.
The company participated in a collaborative demonstration with two other companies at 25 sites from October 2014 to March 2015, confirming the control flow applicable to demand response for residential facilities to determine the amount of power saved.
A second demonstration project was carried out from April 2015 to March 2016 at 12 sites including supermarkets and manufacturing facilities to validate the effectiveness of an automated system for fast demand response and feasibility of a "negawatt" exchange.
Kyocera's development as an electricity aggregator represents a new milestone in the company's energy business, which began from the research on solar energy in 1975.
Since then, the company has expanded its energy business to the construction and operation of solar power plants, and also markets lithium-ion batteries and Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) in Japan.
Kyocera recently participated in a separate collaborative demonstration test with two other companies as an equipment supplier, which integrates multiple homes as virtual power plants (planned between July 2016 to February 2017 in the Tokyo, Chubu, and Kyushu regions of Japan).
By providing and managing residential battery storage systems and HEMS in this test, the company aims to further cultivate expertise and develop residential equipment suitable for virtual power plants.
Based on its comprehensive strength, Kyocera will further expand its energy business, helping to facilitate an energy-efficient society.
Kyocera Corporation, the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as "advanced ceramics").
By combining these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of solar power generating systems, mobile phones, printers, copiers, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools and industrial ceramics.
During the year ended March 31, 2016, the company's net sales totaled 1.48 trillion yen (approx. USD13.1 billion). Kyocera appears on the 2014 and 2015 listings of the "Top 100 Global Innovators" by Thomson Reuters, and is ranked #531 on Forbes magazine's 2016 "Global 2000" listing of the world's largest publicly traded companies.