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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?