Panasonic-led syndicate builds Japan’s first sustainable town
A former Panasonic manufacturing site 50 kilometres west of Tokyo is being used to develop Japan's first sustainable town, according to a Fairfax report.
Nine companies have united to build Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town – essentially a 1000-home "model town" for energy-conscious families of the future.
All going to plan, when the Fujisawa SST is completed some time in 2014, carbon dioxide emissions from its households will be reduced to about 70 percent of a similar-sized town.
Photo-voltaic solar panels and gas-powered fuel cells fitted to every home will provide 70 percent of the electricity used by each household, with the rest sourced from the main grid.
Energy from the solar and fuel cell systems will be stored in lithium-ion battery storage cells – essentially custom-sized packs of AA long-life batteries which need replacing after about 10 years.
The use of solar, natural gas, grid-sourced and battery-stored electricity will be managed by an advanced computer system that can be accessed and viewed by the home's inhabitants.
Panasonic estimates water consumption by each household would also be reduced by about 30 percent.
The town will also integrate charging stations for electric vehicles and solar-powered public lighting.
Panasonic is also collaborating on other sustainable-city projects in Singapore and in Dalian and Tianjin cities in China.