Hosting a seminar bringing together government and private sector leaders from the United States and Japan, the GridWise Alliance has announced the initiation of a close working relationship between the United States and Japan to develop and deploy the smart grid in each nation.

“By sharing knowledge and ideas on how each of our nations and our companies are moving forward on smart grid, we can make better decisions and learn from each other,” said Guido Bartels, GridWise Alliance chair. “As the world has become more interconnected electronically, we are beginning to apply some of those same technologies to our respective electric grids. Working together with public and private organizations in Japan, we can assist each other on standards and interoperability,” added Bartels.

Also participating in the U.S.-Japan Smart Grid Seminar, co-hosted by the GridWise Alliance, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Japan Smart Community Alliance, are Katherine Hamilton, President, GridWise Alliance; Kazuaki Koizawa, Secretary General, Japan Smart Community Alliance; Norihiko Ishiguro, Director-General, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan; Keisuke Saito, Director-General, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Japan; Patricia Hoffman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Electricity Reliability, US Department of Energy; Bruce Walker, Vice President of Asset Strategy and Policy, National Grid, and Board Member, GridWise Alliance.

At the conclusion of the seminar, the GridWise Alliance and Japan Smart Community Alliance signed a Memorandum of Understanding. “We are thrilled to sign this MOU with our counterparts from Japan,” said Hamilton. “With nearly 300 utilities, energy-related manufacturers, universities and automobile companies and an array of other industries represented, the recently launched Japan Smart Community Alliance is both a mirror of the GridWise Alliance and a perfect partner for us,” added Hamilton.

“Smart grid technology and the smart community have shown a strong potential to grow by not only drawing interest from developed countries like the United States, but also emerging countries such as China and India,” said Kazuaki Koizawa, Secretary General of the Japan Smart Community Alliance. “I am convinced it is important for the United States, the world leader in the technology of this field while being proficient in information communication technology, and Japan, which has developed grid technologies, to continue working together to cultivate new markets and facilitate standardization,” added Koizawa.

Striving to contribute to the implementation of a smart grid, the Japan Smart Community Alliance was officially established in April 2010. It was created as an organization for the public and private sectors to collaboratively address common issues. In all, 287 entities from various sectors -- electric power, gas, automobiles, electrical equipment, information communication as well as municipalities and universities -- have joined the Alliance.