ITOCHU Announces Capital Investment and Business Alliance with Next-Generation Fuel Cell Manufacturer, Upstart Power Inc.

December 19, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that a strategic business partnership agreement in respect of joint development, manufacturing, marketing, and exclusive sales in the Japanese market has been executed with regard to next-generation fuel cells made by Upstart Power, Inc. (headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts, USA; Paul Osenar, CEO; hereinafter “Upstart”), in investing Upstart’s shares through its private placement.

Founded in 2018, Upstart is a United States startup company that manufactures and sells Upgen™ NXG, solid oxide fuel cell power systems for on - demand backup power and distributed generation. By applying patented thermal control technology, and proprietary reforming technology, Upstart has successfully commercialized a next-generation fuel cell as a distributed energy platform. Specifically, Upgen NXG has the following features.

1. Intermittent operation :Upgen NXG can be turned on and off quickly.
2. Compact equipment :No need for water storage tanks
3. Diverse fuel options :City gas, propane gas, methane, etc.

The ability to realize an intermittent operation will enable Upgen NXG to generate and supply power as a backup power source during the rainy season or when demand exceeds generation/storage capacity, while using solar power and storage batteries as the main power source. By connecting the AI software (GridShare) that controls the residential solar and energy storage system network deployed by ITOCHU to Upgen NXG, it will be possible to determine and control the most economical supply of electricity for each household. This service will be offered as a solution to the ever-rising cost of electricity.

By eliminating the need for water storage from fuel cell, the equipment can be made much more compact and cost effective. Taking advantage of this merit, we will be able to install distributed energy system not only in houses, but also in apartments, on which it has been previously difficult to deploy distributed energy systems. In addition, since a wide variety of fuels can be used without system modifications, we intend to develop a distributed energy network through partnerships with companies that have a large number of city gas and LP gas customers.

The introduction of electric vehicles and renewable energy will accelerate as society increasingly pursues decarbonization. Meanwhile, unstable power systems and energy prices have been identified as social issues, which is why the ability to coordinate energy storage devices and distributed power sources is expected to become increasingly important. By adding the distributed power source Upgen NXG to ITOCHU’s energy management platform, which already includes a large number of energy storage devices, the company will create new opportunities to stable power systems and energy prices while pursuing business that realizes a decarbonized society.

Company Overview

Company Name Upstart Power, Inc.
Establishment 2018
Headquarters Southborough, Massachusetts, USA
Representative Paul Osenar
Number of employees 45 (Director:6)

Picture of Upgen™ NXG