Japan's Mitsui to invest in U.S. Tres Amigas smart power grid project

The massive conglomerate will invest US$12 million, hoping to gain know-how for Asian and European expansion.

Mitsui, a massive Japanese conglomerate, will invest US$12 million in an ambitious smart grid project that is being constructed in New Mexico.

The Tokyo-based company, which is one of the largest in the world, currently has no smart grid business of its own, but views the investment in the Tres Amigas Superstation as its entry into the industry.

"Through this investment we want to gain knowledge in this field, then use it develop this business in locations like Japan, Europe and China," a spokesman said on Wednesday.

For giant Mitsui, which has offices in 68 countries and last fiscal year generated US$60 billion in revenues, the investment is not a large one financially. But it shows that smart grid technology, which aims to efficiently allocate power generated from different sources across vast regions, is gradually becoming mainstream.

The Tres Amigas project will be a giant electricity hub located in Clovis, New Mexico, that will interconnect the three main power grids in the U.S., enabling electricity to be allocated between them. The company says it will act as a broker for renewable energy, allowing utilities to buy and sell even between the different power grids.

Construction on the project is set to begin next year on a 22-square-mile site, with initial commercial operations planned for 2014.

Mitsui would not comment on what its total stake of Tres Amigas will be, but the Nikkei financial newspaper estimated it would come to around 20 percent. The company may increase its investment as the project matures, the company spokesman said.

Smart grid technology is a focus in Japan after a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami in March caused meltdowns at a key nuclear power plant and massive blackouts. Supply has since stabilized, but parts of the country including Tokyo are still closely monitoring daily power consumption and utilities are asking that customers to limit their use of power.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?