Toshiba Corporation, Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Iwatani Corporation have announced they will construct and operate a large-scale hydrogen (H2) energy system in Japan, based on a 10,000 kilowat class H2 production facility.
The system, which will be built in Namie-Cho, Fukushima, will use H2 to offset grid loads and deliver H2 to locations in Tohoku and beyond, and will seek to demonstrate the advantages of H2 as a solution in grid balancing and as a H2 gas supply.
The product has won a positive evaluation from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), and its continued support for the transition to the technical demonstration phase. The practical effectiveness of the large-scale system will be determined by verification testing in financial year 2020.
The main objectives of the partners are to promote expanded use of renewable energy in the electricity grid in order to balance supply and demand and process load management; and to realise a new control system that optimises H2 production and supply with demand forecasting for H2.
Hiroyuki Ota, General Manager of Toshiba’s Energy Systems and Solutions Company, said, “Through this project, Toshiba will continue to provide comprehensive H2 solutions, encompassing all processes from the production to utilisation of hydrogen.”
Manager of Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd, Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, added, “We will study how to use H2 energy systems to stabilize electricity grids with the aim of increasing the use of renewable energy and contributing to Fukushima.”
Moriyuki Fujimoto, General Manager of Iwatani Corporation, commented, “Iwatani considers that this project will contribute to the early establishment of a H2 economy that draws on our experience in the transportation, storage and supply of industrial H2, and the construction and operation of H2 stations.”
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s ‘Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook’ targets increasing the share of renewable energy in Japan’s overall power generation mix from 10.7% in 2013 to 22-24% by 2030. Since output from renewable energy sources is intermittent and fluctuates widely with the weather and season, grid management requires another compensatory power source. The large hydrogen energy system is expected to provide a solution for grids with a high penetration of renewables.