Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) and LineVision, Inc. (LineVision) announced today that the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership agreement which establishes Marubeni as LineVision’s exclusive technology provider in Japan. The two companies will focus on expanding the footprint of LineVision’s technology among electric power companies (EPCO) throughout the country to increase the efficiency of the grid.
LineVision and Marubeni will kick off the partnership with an installation of LineVision’s sensor and software solutions on a power line originating from the Mibugawa Hydro plant in Ina City, Nagano, Japan. This transmission line is owned by Mibugawa Electric Power, Marubeni's subsidiary. The installation will be partially funded by a grant from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan’s primary economic development agency. The 77 kV, 28 km long power line connects the hydro plant to a population center of Chino city, Nagano Prefecture.
“We are thrilled to partner with LineVision on this important endeavor to equip utilities with the tools and innovation needed to make a transition to the clean energy future,” said Daisuke Arai, General Manager of New Business & Solutions Department, Power Business Division. “Grid enhancing technologies like dynamic line ratings are a key recommendation made in the draft of 6th basic energy plan to achieve Japan’s 2030 goals for greenhouse gas reductions. LineVision’s experience working with some of the world’s largest electric utilities to unlock capacity and build resilience through real-time actionable data will serve as an asset as the utility industry tackles transmission infrastructure challenges in Japan as well.”
“Japan, like many other industrialized nations, has set aggressive decarbonization goals and in the face of an aging grid infrastructure and the challenge of coping with congestion, this presents challenges to the broad integration of renewables,” said Tiffany Menhorn, LineVision’s director of North American sales. “We are excited to work with Marubeni to help unlock the true potential of the country’s grid to meet these critical energy transition goals."
The draft of the 6th basic energy plan sets goals of 36-38% power generation from renewable sources. Conversely, the use of coal will be reduced to 19% from 26% under the new plan. The new power will increase demand on a stressed grid. According to a study by the Brattle Group, the integration of renewables could be doubled immediately if grid enhancing technologies like those offered by LineVision were installed on existing power lines.
LineVision’s sensors collect real-time data on critical parameters of overhead power lines including line temperature, sag, horizontal motion, and anomalous motion. The data is collected utilizing a LiDAR sensor system which allows installation without having to de-energize a transmission line or use live-line working techniques. LineVision currently works with over 30 utilities and 4 of the world’s largest power companies throughout Europe and the United States including National Grid, Dominion Energy and Xcel Energy, among others.