News Releases

Toshiba to supply Integrated control system of storage batteries for Virtual Power Plants

6 Jul, 2016

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Tokyo Electric Power Company Energy Partner, Inc. (TEPCO EP) and the city of Yokohama, Japan, to promote a demonstration trial of the control of multiple, grouped storage batteries as the basis for building a battery service business.

In Japan, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, easing reliance of rigid supply systems based on traditional large-scale centralized power sources while ensuring effective and stable use of rapidly expanding renewable energy has become a pressing issue.

In adapting to this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is promoting the construction of “virtual power plants” that apply advanced energy management technologies to centralized control of end-user side resources, such as demand response, renewable energy, storage batteries, and so on, scattered throughout the power grid.

Toshiba Corporation will participate in the demonstration trials with TEPCO EP and Yokohama as an initiative toward promoting the construction and commercialization of a service business for controlling multiple storage batteries in groups, a requirement for fully functioning virtual power plants.

In the trial, storage battery equipment will be installed in elementary and junior high schools designated as regional disaster centers in Yokohama. TEPCO EP will use storage battery group control systems developed by Toshiba to adjust power supply (demand response) during normal hours, while City of Yokohama will use them to provide electric power in the event of a disaster or other emergency.

Commenting on the trial, Mr. Ryuji Maruyama, Vice President of the Solution & Services Division in Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Company said, “This demonstration trial with TEPCO EP and Yokohama will not only allow us to accelerate commercialization of a service business to control groups of environmentally-friendly storage batteries at a low cost, it will also bring us closer to achieving viable virtual power plants and distributed power supply, and to the realization of resilient power supply systems that secure more efficiency and less waste. Toshiba is focusing on platform businesses that sustain people and the future of society, and I believe technology for integrated control of storage batteries and negawatt technology on the Toshiba IoT platform will be a big step toward the practical use of VPP.”


Overview of Demonstration Trial

Period: July 6, 2016 - March 31, 2018
Target: Elementary and junior high schools in Yokohama
System image:

Features of Toshiba’s Technology

The demonstration trial will deploy storage battery group control technology developed jointly with Yokohama from 2010 to 2014, in the “Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) *1” supported by METI, plus negawatt technology realized by Toshiba through its IoT*2 Architecture that was also demonstrated in the YSCP and established through continuing demonstration trials for system start-up and commercialization supported by METI.

1. Storage battery group control technology

In the course of this project Toshiba will create charge and discharge plans for fixed-type storage batteries (10kWh) installed in Yokohama school, based on accurate forecasts of charge and discharge capacities, which vary according to power consumption characteristics, seasonal fluctuations, weather, and so on. These plans will determine the most appropriate times for battery charging and discharging in order to offer ancillary services and minimize imbalance costs. Effective use of renewable energy will be achieved by using surplus photovoltaic power to charge the batteries.

Adding functions required for a VPP to fixed-type storage batteries that have so far mainly been used to support business continuity planning will create a new value proposition that can be provided to regions, businesses and end-users.

2. Negawatt technology

Toshiba has participated in a demonstration project on demand response led by METI since 2013. The results have shown that stable negawatt amounts of power can be realized by allocating target reductions of power for individual customers according to their capacity to reduce electricity demand. In the new project, by combining the storage batteries installed in Yokohama schools by TEPCO into the network, Toshiba aims to shorten the response time for the negawatt system, and provide the end-user side with improved services. 

3. Toshiba IoT Architecture

The Toshiba IoT Architecture provides the service platform for the system to be confirmed in the current demonstration trial. This architecture combines the capabilities of the IoT domain with know-how in infrastructure and industrial systems that Toshiba has gained over many years of business. By making use of cloud technology, the architecture is able to quickly realize the development of business applications and construction of systems, and is also an excellent base for supporting business expansion efforts.


An initiative selected as a “Next-Generation Energy and Social Systems Demonstration Area” by METI. Home Energy Management Systems, photovoltaic power generation and electric cars have been introduced to optimize the energy supply and demand balance, and demonstration trials have been promoted.
IoT (Internet of Things): the interconnection of various devices such as industrial devices, sensors, etc., via the Internet.