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Home and car batteries to help power Japan's grid

Nissan and Tepco join efforts to use renewables better and prevent blackouts

Nissan's Leaf electric cars are being used as part of a battery network for managing the local power supply in Japan's Sendai.
Nissan's Leaf electric cars are being used as part of a battery network for managing the power supply in the Japanese city of Sendai.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. HoldingsNissan Motor and others are joining a Japanese effort that unites the batteries used in electric cars, homes and offices into storage networks in order to boost the use of renewable energy and keep local power grids stable.

The Tokyo-area utility's Tepco Power Grid unit is working with Kansai Electric Power, home battery maker Eliiy Power and others to develop viable technology for managing scattered small batteries over the internet, in effect treating them as one large battery -- a concept known as a virtual power plant, or VPP.

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