ITOCHU Announces Closer Capital and Business Alliance with VPP Japan and Promotion of Sustainable Energy Business

March 4, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has additionally underwritten the third-party allocation of new shares by VPP Japan, Inc. (headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; President: Tomokazu Akita; hereinafter “VPP Japan”), with which it formed a capital and business alliance in the previous fiscal year, and has bolstered its capital relationship with VPP Japan.

VPP Japan provides a distributed solar power generation supply service that is called the third party ownership (TPO) model, in which the third party installs solar photovoltaic (PV) generation systems on the rooftops of distribution service facilities, etc., in Japan, in free of charge and supplies electric power at low cost directly to these facilities for extended periods of time. To date, it has installed and has been operating solar PV generation systems with an approximate total capacity of 10 MW on approximately 50 distribution service facilities nationwide.
These days, there is urgent demand for specific solutions to social challenges such as CO2 emission reduction, increased energy self-sufficiency and business continuity in the event of disaster. In response, VPP Japan has a plan to introduce solar PV generation systems with a cumulative total capacity of 100 MW on around 500 distribution service facilities nationwide by 2021 with the aim of becoming Japan’s largest operator of such power generation systems.

ITOCHU defines the business relating to renewable energy and storage batteries as one of the most crucial business domain. In a bid to implement a new business model based on its operations cultivated in this area, it will establish the Electric Power & Environmental Solution Division and the Sustainable Energy Business Department under this division in April 2020.
This department will operate the virtual power plant (VPP) business. In this business, it will make a closer alliance with i GRID SOLUTIONS, Inc. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo: President and Representative Director: Toshiyuki Honda; hereinafter “i GRID SOLUTIONS”) and work jointly to expand distributed solar power sources in Japan with VPP Japan. i GRID SOLUTIONS is another shareholder of VPP Japan, serving a cumulative total of more than 5,000 customer facilities nationwide in its energy management service.
ITOCHU will integrate solar PV, biomass and wind power plants under its development and ownership with distributed solar power sources and contribute to the stable supply of renewable energy and to the creation of distributed power supply infrastructure that is efficient and resilient against natural disasters.

Outline of VPP Japan

Company name VPP Japan, Inc.
Established 2017
Shareholders i GRID SOLUTIONS, Inc., ITOCHU Corporation, Energy & Environment Investment, Inc., Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. and K4 Ventures Godo Kaisha (a Kansai Electric Power Group company)
Summary of business Off-grid power supply service (third party ownership model) and VPP business

Diagram of Business Scheme of VPP Japan’s Off-Grid Power Supply Service