Skip to content

City Hall ‘microgrid’ will be named after Japan diplomat


The unique “microgrid” at Lancaster City Hall will be named the “Pacific Energy Center” (PAEC) to honor outgoing Consul General Akira Muto of Japan. The microgrid is being developed in partnership with Yamaguchi, Japan-based Choshu Industries Corp. of America, leveraging solar, battery, and hydrogen solutions to provide reliable green energy to city hall.

The PAEC forms part of a larger hydrogen ecosystem being developed by the city of Lancaster. “Pacific” is representative of the connection between Namie, Japan and Lancaster through the Pacific Ocean. In the logo, the hydrogen atom at the end of pacific is reflective of the hydrogen connection across the pacific between two unlikely partners and their commitment to creating a more sustainable future.

“Muto-san has been a steadfast and reliable partner for Lancaster. Our green energy projects and partnerships, especially for hydrogen, would not have been possible without his support and assistance in building relationships between Lancaster and various ministries and agencies of the Government of Japan,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The Pacific Energy Center is an important step in Lancaster’s Hydrogen Master Plan that advances our timeline to become the first Hydrogen City in the United States.”

Akira Muto has served as the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles since 2019.

“Consul General Muto initiated our understanding of Japan’s concept of a hydrogen society,” said Lex Heslin, CEO of Enso Infrastructure and Senior Project Developer at Hitachi Zosen Inova. “He subsequently facilitated the establishment of Lancaster’s Smart Sister City relationship with Namie Town in Fukushima – the first two municipalities in the world to commit to develop local hydrogen production, distribution, and usage ecosystems”

Muto was instrumental in the development of the city’s Green Energy Microgrid (GEM) system at Lancaster City Hall with Choshu Industries. The partnership will integrate Choshu’s “SHiPS,” a containerized hydrogen production and refueling station system, and “MizTomo,” a stationary fuel cell power system.

“Muto-san’s contributions to the city of Lancaster will live on through the clean energy provided by the Pacific Energy Center for future generations that call Lancaster home,” Parris said.