ITOCHU Announces Participation in a Smart Community Technology Demonstration Project in Gongqingcheng, Jiangxi Province, China

-Selected as a contractor for a Japan-China joint project of NEDO-

June 22, 2011

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU and ITOCHU (China) Holding Co., Ltd. (China) (hereinafter the “ITOCHU Group”) and other partner companies (*1) that have made a joint offer have been selected as contractors for the first smart community demonstration project that the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) will carry out in China.

The demonstration project is intended to demonstrate smart community technology that will strike a balance between economic growth and a low-carbon economy to solve urban problems associated with rapid increases in the population in the growing city of Gongqingcheng, in Jiangxi Province in the middle of China. Specifically, the partners will conduct preliminary research to consider introducing an energy management system involving buildings, factories, and homes, as well as an efficient traffic control system using location information and electric cars and buses. One of the features of the project is that it is intended to consider building and demonstrating an integrated EMS (*2) that the entire community will control in a coordinated manner, instead of an EMS that will be managed and controlled through individual systems. The city of Gongqingcheng has four areas: an industrial area, a commercial area, a residential area, and a tourist area. We will seek to demonstrate a management system, taking advantage of the features of each area, and to establish an advanced smart community model for small and midsize cities.

The ITOCHU Group and other partner companies (*1) will conduct preliminary research until the end of November this year. Based on the results of the research, we will assess the commercialization of the project and will determine the details of the demonstration project. The demonstration project is scheduled to run until the end of March 2014. The ITOCHU Group will be responsible for demonstrating transportation system management involving electric vehicles, using an area management system.

Overseas demonstration projects involving the ITOCHU Group include a Japan-U.S. Smart Grid Collaborative Demonstration Project in New Mexico, the United States, Project Plug-IN (*3), a large-scale public/private EV initiative in Indianapolis, the United States, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project in India, and the Tianjin Eco-City project. In Japan the ITOCHU Group has taken part in a range of smart grid and smart community projects, including a project to verify the technologies for optimal control of next-generation power transmission and distribution systems and the Tsukuba Green Crossover Project.

The ITOCHU Group will continue to participate in smart grid- and smart community demonstration projects to establish the basic technologies and develop business models and to expand the operations.

  1. Partner companies
    The two companies of the ITOCHU Group, Toshiba, Toshiba Solutions, Toshiba China, Smart Communications, and NTT DOCOMO
  2. EMS
    Energy Management System
  3. Project Plug-IN
    Project Plug-IN is the one of the largest projects in North America, which aims to combine electric vehicles, and smart grid technology and to build a more efficient low-carbon transportation system ahead of the rest of the world in Indiana, a U.S. state closely linked to the automobile society and the auto industry and home to the famous Indy 500. The project aims to deploy 1,000 electric vehicles by 2012 and 4,000 by 2013.

Outline of the project

  1. Area
    Gongqingcheng, Jiangxi Province, China
  2. Period
    FY2011 to FY2013 (The period for the preliminary research runs until the end of November 2011.)
  3. Items to be demonstrated (The ITOCHU Group will be in charge of item iv.)
    (i) Building and demonstrating an integrated EMS that will coordinate the functions of the entire community and will plan and manage the efficient use of energy
    (ii) Demonstrating the promotion and management of environmental improvement and energy saving in the entire urban activities
    (iii) Demonstrating smart grid-related technologies that will introduce renewable energy in the target area
    (iv) Demonstrating a low-carbon transportation management system