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International Dignitaries Tour NEDO Smart House

on September 18, 2012 - 1:46pm

Dignitaries from Japan join officials from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County, Gov. Susana Martinez and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan in Monday's NEDO Smart House Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Photo by Greg Kendall/

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Los Alamos County Council Chair Stover, NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa and other dignitaries tour the NEDO Smart House Monday. Photo by Greg Kendall/

Local, state, national and international officials tour the NEDO Smart House including this garage area.

Powering Up the Los Alamos Smart Grid & Smart House

on September 11, 2012 - 11:20pm

Let the Demo Begin!  Powering up the Los Alamos Smart Grid & Smart House

By Greg Kendall

  • First international project in the U.S. to demonstrate how to provide a significant proportion of renewable power on the electric grid to meet a community’s residential needs.

A $52 million state‐of‐the‐art, international smart grid project will power up at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at 1925‐D Trinity Dr. in Los Alamos, a high desert residential community of scientists, engineers and their families.

At the event, the New Energy and Industrial Technology and Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan,

Artwork Funding Approved for NEDO Smart House

on August 21, 2012 - 8:08pm

Carolyn Bossert of the Art in Public Places Board, left, and Libby Carlsten of Los Alamos County present their recommendations of artwork for the NEDO Smart House to Council. Council voted 6-0 to aprrove $15,000 be spent on artwork for the NEDO Smart House. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Art by Alexander Scheinker approved for Nedo Smart House. Courtesy Photo

Art by Umi Raby approved for NEDO Smart House. Courtesy Photo

Art by Kevin Box approved for NEDO Smart House. Courtesy Photo

Art by Minesh Bacrania approved for NEDO Smart House. Courtesy Photo



Smart House Takes Shape

on July 24, 2012 - 2:25pm

The Los Alamos County Demonstration Smart House takes shape. Photo by Greg Kendall/

Staff report

As part of the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities NEDO project, a 2,418 square foot "Smart House" is being built behind the Century Link Building (formerly Qwest) at 1925 Trinity Dr.

Framing for the building is nearly completed and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the project is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sept. 17.

The demonstration house will be equipped with 3 kW photovoltaic (solar panels), a 20 kWh battery, a home energy management system (HEMS), smart equipment and


06 - How much of Los Alamos energy use is from renewable energy?

The State of New Mexico has mandated a renewable portfolio standard of 10 percent renewable in 2012, 15 percent in 2015 and 20 percent in 2020. This applies to public utilties. The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilties is a county owned utility and so these standards do not apply.  In any case, the Los Alamos DPU is way ahead of the state renewable mandate.

The Los Alamos County Council and the DPU Board has directed the DPU to work toward becoming carbon-neutral.

Using Renewable Energy Sources

on July 2, 2012 - 6:32pm

Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith and Deputy Utility Manager Rafael De La Torre in the new DPU-NEDO Photovoltaic Array. Photo by Greg Kendall/

By Greg Kendall

This morning while purusing twitter news feeds, I noticed the following snippet of news from the Albuquerque Journal:

"PNM was widely criticized last year when it told the PRC it could not comply with the state’s renewable portfolio standard for 2012, which requires public utilities to derive at least 10 percent of their electricity this year from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.

Los Alamos Boasts First Photovoltaic System Installed on a Landfill in New mexico

on February 27, 2012 - 12:00am

NEDO has begun installing the photovoltaic system on the capped landfill adjacent to the Eco Center. NEDO will install one megawatt, and the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities will enter into a purchase power agreement for another, for a total of two megawatts on the capped landfill. This is the first photovoltaic system in New Mexico to be installed on a landfill. Photo by Julie Williams-Hill

Staff Report

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has partnered with Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities and the Los Alamos National Laboratory on


05 - How much electricity does Los Alamos County use each day and what are its sources?

Electric power is measured in watts. A kilowatt (kW) is 1,000 watts, and a megawatt (MW) is 1 million watts.  Consumers purchase electricity in Kilowatt-hours (KWh).

If you run a 100-watt lightbulb for an hour, you've used 100 watt-hours. If you run it for 10 hours, you've used 1 kWh, for which the average US household would be billed 11 cents. (In Los Alamos, rates are lower at about 9.52 cents a kWh.)

Los Alamos County used 574,862 megawatt hours of power in Fiscal year 2011. That is 1,575 megawatts a day or 66 megawatts an hour, average.

The average house in New Mexico uses about 660


02 - Why did the NEDO organization choose Los Alamos for this demonstration project?

Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) chose Los Alamos for multiple reasons. First, Los Alamos has a world class scientific laboratory that will collaborate with research for the project. One goal of the project is to develop smart grid Energy Management System (EMS) Software that can manage a community-scale electric grid.


04 - What function does the large scale battery storage system serve?

Solar power fluctuates, depending on the weather and other factors. Increased cloud cover can cause the electric output of a solar array to suddenly drop and just as suddenly to increase, destabilizing the county's electric grid.

The large scale battery storage system is designed to help make up for this sudden drop in electric output by adding electricity to the local grid in order to stablize electricity flow. (The DPU-NEDO large scale battery storage system is charged using electricity from the Los Alamos electrical grid, not necessarily directly from the 2 megawatt solar array.


01 - What organizations are involved in the DPU-NEDO Collaboration Project?

Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO, selected 19 subcontractors to participate in Los Alamos and Albuquerque projects.  In Los Alamos, participants include:

NGK Insulators
(CTC) Itochu Techno-Solutions

United States' parties to the Los Alamos Smart Grid project include the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The Los Alamos DPU is leasing the former refuge site for this project from Los Alamos National Laboratory for 25 years with an option to renew the lease for


03 - How does a Photovoltaic Array work?

The Sun generates photons that stream down to earth as visible light. Solar cells convert the energy of light directly into electricity.  Assemblies of solar cells are used to make solar modules (or panels).  Six or so solar panels are typically put together on a rack that faces the sun called an array. Some racks have motors that keep them pointed directly at the sun as it move across the sky.  The DPU-NEDO racks are fixed and do not move to track the sun.

Many racks of solar panels are typically lined up into long columns and those columns form a large scale Photovoltaic Array,  "Solar