EV Carries Electricity From Solar Plant to Emergency Shelter

2014/04/08 09:06
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Kintetsu Corp and the governments of Nara Prefecture and Oyodo-chou (Nara Prefecture) have established a system that enables to supply electricity to, for example, a shelter in case of emergency from a mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant located in Oyodo-chou by using an electric vehicle (EV).

Specifically, Nissan Motor Co Ltd's "Leaf" EV is charged with electricity generated at a 3MW solar power plant, "Kintetsu Hanayoshino Solar Power Plant," whose construction was completed by Kintetsu March 20, 2014. Then, the EV is driven to a shelter, etc to provide electricity.

The project has been reviewed by the "Review Conference for Advanced Usage of Renewable Energy in Hanayoshino Garden Hills (Fukugami District, Oyodo-chou)," which consists mainly of Kintetsu and the governments of Nara Prefecture and Oyodo-chou, in the aim of establishing a "power supply system that can be used at the time of disaster."

It became possible to realize the project when the 3MW solar power plant was completed. The company and the governments organized a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the plant and gave a demonstration of it March 29, 2014.

JFE Engineering Corp's fast charger equipped with a rechargeable battery unit was installed in an area adjacent to the mega-solar plant. Its rated input and output are 28kW or less and up to 50kW, respectively. The capacity of the battery unit is 12kWh.

In case of a massive blackout caused by a disaster, etc, the Leaf EV is charged and driven to a building equipped with special relaying equipment called "EV Power Station." Then, it supplies electricity to the building by using "Leaf to Home System."

The Leaf is equipped with a 24kWh rechargeable battery. Under normal conditions, the EV is rapidly charged with grid electricity. When grid electricity is not available, the mega-solar plant is switched to self-sustained operation and supplies electricity to the fast charger. This is reportedly the first system in Japan that uses a mega-solar plant as a backup power source of a building such as a shelter by using an EV.