ITOCHU Announces the Establishment of a Joint Venture to Offer a Distributed Power Source Subscription Service

August 12, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has established IBeeT Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Yasuhiro Abe, President & CEO; hereinafter “IBeeT”), a joint venture together with Tokyo Century Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Makoto Nogami, President & CEO; hereinafter “Tokyo Century”), to offer a subscription service for distributed power source and related equipment that will contribute towards the realization of a decarbonized society.

In the current energy storage device market, the need for home energy storage systems and medium- to large-scale energy storage systems is projected to increase when considering the popularization of renewable energy, improvements in resilience against natural disasters, and measures against blackouts. IBeeT will offer a subscription service for Smart Star, a home energy storage system jointly developed and sold by ITOCHU and NF Blossom Technologies Co., Ltd to respond to this demand and to accelerate their entry into the market.

Over 45,000 Smart Star (*1) systems have been sold by ITOCHU as the end of June 2021. This system allows for the optimization of charging and discharging of the energy storage device by utilizing solar power generation and cheap, late-night power and through learning power demand patterns for each household using AI. Their system is also convenient for use as a power source for the home in blackouts as a full load energy storage device.

As a first step for the subscription service, the Bee Flat plan which starts in September 2021, leases the Smart Star L or the Smart Star 3 to homes for a set monthly fee, along with waived initial fees. In addition to regular maintenance during the contract period, this plan offers a package that includes an additional 5 years on top of the conventional 10-year product warranty as well as an optimal service for charging and discharging through the GridShare AI software. It is the first subscription service in Japan that provides services above and transfers the ownership of the energy storage system to the customer free of charge after the contract ends (*2).

IBeeT is also considering future subscription services for commercial energy storage devices, solar panels, electric vehicles and related equipment, and the Bluestorage (*3) medium- to large-scale energy storage system utilizing reused electric vehicle batteries. They will create an efficient distributed energy platform early using GridShare AI by mutually lending the surplus power created by the distributed energy owned by IBeeT through this service.

ITOCHU and Tokyo Century will continue to contribute towards the realization of a decarbonized society with distributed energy by creating new environmental systems and a circular economy through developing subscription services for distributed power source and related equipment in cooperation with IBeeT.

Outline of the Joint Venture

Corporate name IBeeT Corporation
Date of incorporation April 2021
Headquarters Fujisoft Building 13F, 3 Kandaneribei-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
President & Chief Executive Officer Yasuhiro Abe
Capital 245 million yen
Investment ratio ITOCHU: 50%, Tokyo Century: 50%
Website (Japanese)

For Reference: Smart Star series home energy storage system

For Reference: Future business expansion plan using IBeeT (concept)