TOKYO, May 27, 2013 – Rakuten Inc. today announced that it has teamed up with Global Engineering, Inc. to promote demand response adhering to OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) standards under the Power Saving Aggregator Initiative1 to be rolled out in the Kyushu Electric Power region this summer. The initiative will harness a new platform from Wireless Glue Networks, Inc. (WGN), a software development venture firm based in Silicon Valley. This platform will package OpenADR-standard management and control software with gateway devices from Toko Electric Corp.
OpenADR has already been adopted in the United States as a way to alleviate electricity demand peaks. It is a standard for the transmission of billing data and electricity usage restriction requests from demand response (DR) servers to utility customers in order to maintain the balance of supply and demand. DR is activated when an iNC (Intelligent Network Controller) gateway device installed for the customer receives a signal and then transmits information to appliances such as air conditioners and lights. This allows a more prompt, more efficient demand response for the customer. OpenADR is gaining popularity and is considered to become a global standard in future.
Rakuten and Global Engineering have already partnered in the demand response business and began collaborating on a project in the Tokyo Electric Power Co. region this spring2. This time, based on power saving aggregator contracts it signed last year with Kyushu Electric, Global Engineering again aims to achieve tremendous progress on demand response through a tie-up with Rakuten. Rakuten in turn hopes to use the experience gained in this project to further develop and streamline its energy business while using OpenADR for the alleviation of electric utility peak demand.
Rakuten first entered the energy business last year with initiatives in solar power generation and demand response, offering services based on the business resources of the Rakuten Group. Moving forward, Rakuten will continue to pursue integration of its Internet and energy businesses. Rakuten hopes to become actively involved in the reform of Japan’s electricity system by integrating advanced IT technology from other countries into domestic energy services, a process that has just begun with the introduction of OpenADR demand response.