IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - 55

One of the most significant effects of the GEJE was the loss of
about 14 GW of generation in eastern Honshu, 6 GW nuclear
and almost all the rest thermal.

microgrid. The dc power circuit was never dead since it has
battery back-up. The A and B1 circuits were also served by
battery for several hours but then shut down. The natural gas
genset was restarted about a day into the blackout, at which
time all circuits were restored. Thus the university's hospital,
rest home, and other facilities were fully served and were
available with full functionality. The SM provided the senior
victims who had experienced unprecedented suffering with
not only an energy supply but also a sense of hope and peace
of mind. This human story demonstrated to Japanese officials
the effectiveness of the microgrid in providing resilience.
The microgrid does not maintain on-site backup fuel so
its resilience rests on its lifeline. In Sendai, the GEJE significantly diminished residential natural gas services when two
critical LNG import port facilities were taken out of service
for many weeks. Damage in these facilities stopped natural
gas supply to Sendai until a connection to a main natural gas
pipe from the city of Niigata was established on 23 March.
Still, natural gas service to the SM was not interrupted as supply was available from the undamaged Saiwaityou storage.
Such outstanding performance was due to two important factors: the strong design of natural gas service pipelines, and a

System

11 March

separate high-pressure natural gas line (not used for residential service) fed by an undamaged natural gas center near the
SM as shown in Figure 14.

Japan's Research Pivot to Resilience
Lessons of the Earthquake
Despite extensive commendable previous efforts, the GEJE
experience showed that the resilience of Japan's energy supply system was far from perfect, and discussions on ways
to harden the system followed. The Japanese government,
electric and gas utilities, and other researchers reviewed the
physical damage and possibilities for improvement. Infrastructures are interdependent, e.g., municipal water supply
systems require electricity supply, which in turn relies on
communications. The private sector recognized that energy
supply disruption causes significant losses and the limitation
of business continuity plans (BCP) not considering loss of
electricity supply. According to a survey of 571 businesses
conducted by the Japanese government, a majority confirmed that they view blackouts to be the most influential factor threatening business continuity. Further, GEJE damage to

12 March

13 March

14 March
Grid Recover
Grid Connection

Gas Engine

14:47 Voltage Collapse Grid Outage
Grid Connection
Outage
Around 12:00
Disconnect
Islanding Operation
Grid Connection
Stop
Islanding Operation

dc Supply

Grid Connection Supply from Battery

Supply from Gas Engine

Grid Connection

A Quality

Grid Connection

Battery

Stopped Manually
Supply from Gas Engine
Outage

Grid Connection

B1 Quality

Grid Connection

Battery

Outage

B3 Quality

Grid Connection

C Quality

Grid Connection

Utility Grid

02:05

Outage
Outage

Grid Connection

Grid Connection
Supply from Gas Engine
Around 14:00
Dispatch Start (Because of Customer's Wish)
Supply from Gas Engine
Grid Connection
Supply from Gas Engine

Grid Connection

figure 13. The operation of the SM during the GEJE. (Source: NTT Facilities.)
may/june 2015

ieee power & energy magazine

55



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2015 - Cover4
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