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Based on a partnership involving the public, private, and academic sectors, a revolutionary community development project is currently underway in the city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture. This is the Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City Project, designed to embody a New Vision for the Cities of Tomorrow—cities that co-exist harmoniously with nature, support the health and longevity of their residents, and foster the creation of new industries. Hitachi has played a key role in this project from the start, working to bring to life this vision of an environmentally sustainable and human-friendly city.
Looking to solve the world's problems related to energy, environment and urbanization, projects are underway to develop smart cities that utilize advanced technology to optimize infrastructure and to make urban life safer and more secure. One case that has been gaining attention not only in Japan but also internationally is the Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City Project in Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture. The project is a collaborative effort between governmental agencies, universities, other research institutions, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., Nikken Sekkei, Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd., and others. The project is working towards three goals to make the city an urban model for the world's future: to create a city that co-exists with nature, to make a city that supports the health and longevity of its residents, and to develop a city that fosters the creation of new industry.
Hitachi has participated in this project since the planning stage, communicating extensively with Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., and Nikken Sekkei, Ltd. about how to create the area's energy management system and how to work in close collaboration with the local community and facilities. Initial goals included the reduction of CO2 emissions and the utilization of energy from renewable sources. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, emergency energy planning was added to the agenda. The result is Kashiwa-no-ha AEMS*. The goal of this urban planning is to improve the quality of life in terms of safety, convenience and comfort in a way that is also harmonious with nature. The solutions being developed are precisely in line with the goals of Hitachi's Social Innovation Business.
The Kashiwa-no-ha AEMS has two main strengths: it enables the visualization of utilities, including electricity as well as water and gas; and it allows for electrical power interchange across city and ward lines for the first time in Japan.
The AEMS connects offices, shopping centers, residences, and public facilities with energy sources such as solar power and batteries through independent transmission lines and information networks. Hitachi's AEMS is a total solution that provides not only substations but also one of Japan's largest industrial lithium-ion storage battery systems that promotes the stable interchange of electricity from different regions. Its core facility, the Smart Center, plays an important role in supporting a more secure and safer quality of life. The Center effectively reduces CO2 emissions and uses peak shift and peak cut controls across regional borders in real time. It also shares and visualizes information on utility usage, and it prioritizes distribution of power to elevators and evacuation centers in times of emergency.
Area Energy Management System for efficient utility operation, monitoring and control for an entire area
Through the Smart Center, Hitachi succeeds in visualizing energy usage. Residents and tenants can see their overall energy consumption as well as that of each device at any time on a tablet. This helps people become more conscious of saving energy in their business and daily lives.
Smart Center for centralized management of the area's energy
Lithium Ion Storage Battery System, an essential system for peak shift control and regional electrical power interchange
Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City has already completed its first phase in opening the city and is preparing for the second phase, the expansion of the area for development. Through the analysis of big data, including energy related data, healthcare data and data on the flow of people, Hitachi is contributing to the realization of the project goals, creating a city that supports the health and longevity of residents and fosters the creation of new industry. Hitachi will keep working on the creation of sustainable and comfortable urban life through the Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City Project and other projects that aim to optimize social infrastructure to improve people's lives.
Release Date: July 2017
Solutions By: Hitachi, Ltd. Urban Solutions Business Unit