Japan joins energy effort

Posted: October 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

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The Japanese government will collaborate with researchers at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany on testing technologies that will power "zero-energy" buildings of the future.

The $25 million partnership will take place at the $191 million ZEN building under construction now at SUNY Poly's campus on Fuller Road.

ZEN, which stands for zero energy nanotechnology, will have 356,000 square feet of space, making it one of the largest zero-energy buildings being planned in the world. Zero energy buildings produce more energy than they consume.

The market for such structures is expected to grow from less than $700 million this year to $1.4 trillion in 2035, according to Naigant Research. Both Japan and the United States have invested significant resources to address the market.

Under Tuesday's announcement, Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO, will work with SUNY Poly to install $25 million worth of clean-tech technology at ZEN, ranging from solar panels and fuel cells to advanced lighting.

A Japanese company called Shimizu Corp. that specializes in zero energy design and construction will handle the project on behalf of the Japanese government. NEDO often partners on demonstration projects in other countries and has been focused on zero-energy buildings as a way to help the country reduce its reliance on nuclear power plants. The projects also help Japanese companies enter these new markets.

The ZEN building would appear to be an ideal place for NEDO. ZEN was built as a "living laboratory" where construction companies, architecture firms, clean-tech companies and others can test new ways of designing buildings and on-site power generation and storage technologies.

"NEDO's support in providing state-of-the-art equipment will enable the development of zero energy buildings worldwide, charting a new, more sustainable course for global infrastructure," said Ichiro Tsubota, who is director general of the NEDO's energy conservation technology department.

lrulison@timesunion.com 518-454-5504 @larryrulison

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Japan joins energy effort

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October 1st, 2014 at 7:51 am

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