SOMA IHI Green Energy Center
In April 2018, Soma IHI Green Energy Center (approximately 54 000 m2 ) was opened in Soma City (Fukushima Prefecture) with the aim of realizing “local production of renewable energy for local consumption” — that is, consuming as much generated renewable electric power as possible within the local community, rather than supplying it to an existing utility grid — as well as contributing to the development of the local area community. The approach to the realization of a smart community comprises photovoltaic power generation, hydrogen production, drying and pelletizing of sewage sludge, and disaster preparedness.
In addition, a “local production for local consumption energy management system” acts as a control center that manages variations in renewable energy in a well-balanced manner. Consequently, the greatest feature of this approach is that the amount of surplus electric power from photovoltaic power generation is controlled by adjusting the amount of steam produced with electric boilers and hydrogen produced with water electrolyzers, in order to balance power demand and power supply in the community without affecting general power transmission and distribution systems. With this feature, this system will help stabilize the utility grid when a large amount of renewable energy from dispersed power sources, such as photovoltaic and wind-power generation, are put into use as is expected to happen.