ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of an Equity Stake in TRENDE Inc. for Realizing a Next-Generation, Renewable Energy-Oriented Society

June 18, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it underwrote a private placement of shares and convertible bonds of the TEPCO Group’s TRENDE Inc. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Tadatoshi Senoo, CEO; hereinafter “TRENDE”).

TRENDE defines its mission as “Realizing a society in which renewable energy is actively used” and provides Ashita Denki, a service offering residential customers simple and affordable energy plans, and Hot Denki, a service incentivizing customers to become prosumers with an innovative third-party ownership (TPO*1) model that enables homeowners to gain the benefits of having a solar system on their roof without the upfront costs of purchasing the system. TRENDE is developing a peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading system in order to further facilitate the efficient use and adoption of renewable energy.

In Japan, solar system feed-in tariff periods have been expiring beginning in November 2019, and the demand for self-consumption of solar system using energy storage system (ESS) is increasing sharply. ITOCHU and TRENDE jointly developed an energy tariff plan for energy storage in 2018 and have deepened their relationship. Following ITOCHU’s acquisition of an equity stake in TRENDE, the two companies plan to do the following: (i) Introduce a new service that combines distributed solar generation TPO*1 model where the initial cost is zero with energy storage, (ii) Expand environmental value transactions using the non-fossil value*2 by increasing the ratio of renewable energy, and (iii) Start P2P electricity trading system*3 between each company service customers.

As of June 2020, ITOCHU has sold more than 33,000 330MWh/100MW “Smart Star” series, ITOCHU’s energy storage system brand, in Japan. In November 2018, ITOCHU began selling a next-generation energy storage system using “GridShare”, the Moixa Energy Holdings AI software. ITOCHU provides energy storage with optimally controlled service using AI to customers whose solar system feed-in tariff periods have expired. ITOCHU will evolve its knowledge of the energy storage business, which it has developed through the sales & marketing and business development of energy storage, with TRENDE, and seek to advance towards a new energy society.

ITOCHU positions the business related to energy storage and renewable energy as one of its most important fields. To strengthen this field and build a new model, ITOCHU created the Power & Environmental Solution Division in April 2020. ITOCHU will contribute to facilitating society's widespread adoption of renewable energy and the shift away from burning fossil fuels and to the stable supply of electricity and the realization of a distributed energy society by renewable energy.

  • *1TPO: Third-party Ownership
  • *2Non-fossil value: Non-fossil value is environmental value attached to power sources that do not use fossil fuels to generate power. A non-fossil value trading market was established in May 2018 to promote the use of renewable energy.
  • *3P2P electricity trading: Peer to Peer electricity trading are direct electricity transactions between electricity consumers and owners of power-generation facilities.

Cooperative business model of ITOCHU and TRENDE

Company profile

Company name TRENDE Inc. (a subsidiary of TEPCO Ventures, Inc.)
Established 2017
Head office Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representatives Jeffrey Char, Tadatoshi Senoo
Major shareholders
(in no particular order)
TEPCO Ventures, Inc.
Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (Idemitsu Showa Shell)
Jumeirah Energy International Capital Holding
ITOCHU Corporation
Employees 29