Leading Japanese energy companies have joined forces to develop a large-scale battery storage project in a bid to supercharge the country’s renewable energy drive.
The Itochu Corp said on Wednesday it has teamed up with Osaka Gas Co and Tokyo Century Corp and will start construction of large-scale lithium ion storage batteries in Osaka prefecture in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Batteries are central to Japan’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050, as they are critical for storage of renewable energy to smoothen output fluctuations.
The project will have capacity of 23 megawatt hours and output of 11 megawatt, for which Itochu would provide storage batteries and construction, Osaka Gas would trade the power and Tokyo Century would do business management.
Japan is targeting over $24 billion in investments both from the public and private sectors to develop domestic battery production capacity of 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2030, including for electric vehicles, and global production by Japanese companies of 600 GWh.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara