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Panasonic’s ‘smart city’ to cut carbon emissions by nearly half

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Panasonic’s green community in Yokohama, scheduled to open in 2018, will reduce carbon emissions by nearly half through a power-sharing system, according to concept designs unveiled Monday.The Tsunashima Sustainable Smart Town will be built on the site of a former Panasonic cellphone plant at a projected cost of tens of billions of yen. An international consortium of 10 groups, including Panasonic, is overseeing the project.

On-site installations will be powered by a next-generation energy system in which electricity and heat are shared among facilities. Tokyo Gas, in collaboration with JX Nippon Oil & Energy, will provide the service using the city’s gas supply. Future power-generation projects will make use of hydrogen.The aim is to shrink carbon dioxide emissions by 40% in fiscal 2018 compared with 13 years earlier. At least 30% of all energy consumed by the smart city is to be generated within the premises, with solar power playing a role.

Apart from commercial facilities, the 37,900-sq.-meter complex will house an Apple research facility set to be completed in fiscal 2016. Nomura Real Estate Development will construct condominiums. Keio University will establish a dorm for international students on the site, adding an academic link to the public-private job-creation effort.”We would like to see this company’s technology be put to full use in creating a town Japan can boast about to the world,” said Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga on Monday.

The Yokohama smart city will be the second to make use of idle land held by Panasonic, after the one in Fujisawa, another Kanagawa Prefecture city. The Japanese electronics giant is also part of other smart city projects in the U.S. and China, as it seeks orders bundling equipment, systems and services.

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