Japan-based Hitachi today announced expansion of its new energy solutions business in North America, which includes the Hitachi microgrid operation.
In addition to microgrids, the technology giant is offering battery energy storage, grid stabilization and other advanced energy initiatives in North America.
Hitachi’s new energy solutions business division will expand use of digital technology, specifically integrating its operating technology (OT) expertise, which it has built up over time in the electric power and energy sectors, with its advanced information technology (IT).
Hitachi already is working on several microgrid projects in the U.S, including ten within the $40 million NY Prize competition, New York’s program to encourage development of community microgrids.
See this Microgrid Knowledge interview published in December that offers a glimpse into the Hitachi microgrid strategy for North America.
In addition to microgrids, Hitachi has several other advanced energy projects underway.
For example, in the western U.S. the company is conducting a demonstration project involving a grid stability and control system that is aimed at preventing large-scale power outages.
In New Jersey, Hitachi is trialing an energy storage system that helps maintain grid stability while participating in power transactions.
In Hawaii, the company is promoting the latest in energy management, with demonstrations that involve electric vehicles, demand response and virtual power plants.
Hitachi cited several motivators for expanding its technologies into North America’s market:
- The U.S. is moving toward greater reliance on renewables and distributed energy to help meet targets to reduce greenhouse gases.
- The nation is increasingly focused on securing its power supply on a grid that is aging and faces investment constraints.
- Electric industry restructuring has accelerated use of IT and OT to bolster power plant and equipment efficiency and reliability. Examples include widespread use of smart meters by utilities, increasingly sophisticated grid balancing practices, and expansion of ancillary services markets.
Hitachi is focusing increasingly on its Social Innovation Business, which includes power & infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, healthcare and others.
The company, which had consolidated revenues for fiscal 2014 $81.3 billion, has a long track record in energy, primarily in Japan.
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