PanaHome Corporation, ENERES Co., Ltd, IBJ Leasing Co., Ltd. and the Public Enterprises Agency of the Hyogo Prefectural Government plan to embark on the urban development of a microgrid system (a regional energy distribution management system) (*1) starting October 2017.
The microgrid system will power a total of 117 homes in Zone D4 of Smart City Shioashiya Solar-Shima, which is being designed and developed by PanaHome in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. On August 9, 2017, the project was selected as a part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s subsidy program to promote local energy production for local consumption by leveraging regional characteristics.
This is a joint project being carried out by PanaHome, ENERES, IBJ Leasing and the Public Enterprises Agency. The project concept is a “town interconnected by energy for living.” PanaHome purchased land that was developed by the Public Enterprises Agency. Panasonic Corporation and the City of Ashiya are also cooperating with the development of this project. A part of the project entails building Japan’s first (*2) microgrid system. Solar energy will be used to power 80% or more (*3) of the entire housing district. This will be made feasible by running private power distribution lines (*4) to the housing district and sharing power between homes. Even when the district becomes disconnected from the traditional electrical grid during emergencies, the private power distribution lines can continue to supply power via specific circuits. Private power distribution lines make it possible to receive power and flexibly set power rates. Consequently, this poses a number of benefits for homeowners including, a 20% cut in their electricity bill. Another key goal is to contribute to the environment, mainly by maximizing use of renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions. Going forward this project will contribute to solutions for sharing electric power between buildings, preventing blackouts in areas overseas where power grids are weak, and in showcasing these solutions overseas.