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Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and NTT Anode Energy Corporation (NTT Anode) have agreed to study collaboration in the energy sector. The agreement is part of the industrial DX partnership formed between MC and NTT Corporation (NTT) on December 20, 2019.
MC is engaged in a wide range of electric power businesses and is now endeavoring to extend those operations beyond power distribution. By combining renewables and other green energy sources with digital technologies, the company aims to provide customers with new, value-added solutions to balance supply and demand. Also active in energy storage, MC manufactures and sells vehicle-and-industrial-use lithium-ion batteries and promotes their reuse and further application throughout the energy sector. These initiatives are invested in the development of sustainable societies and are helping MC to both strengthen its corporate worth and realize its three-value mission.1
NTT Anode was established to promote smart-energy businesses that take advantage of the NTT Group’s proprietary ICT2 and direct-current (DC) technologies. By maximizing the group’s synergies and optimizing use of distributed energy resources, such as storage batteries and power generation facilities driven by renewables, the company is working with its partners to develop new energy-distribution systems and invigorate industry. The MC-NTT Anode alliance will focus on the following areas:
(1) Renewable Energy Generation
This work will study to involve joint investment in renewable energy projects in Japan and overseas, as well as investigation into the possibility of supplying energy from those projects to NTT Group companies.
(2) Energy Management with EVs and Storage Batteries
This work will study to involve building a microgrid platform (MGP)3 for new, decentralized energy businesses that incorporates electric vehicles (EVs) and storage batteries, and leveraging both those businesses and the existing networks of MC and NTT Anode to investigate unique energy solutions. The partners intend to develop a battery-lifetime-management business model for EVs that will generate earnings by optimizing battery use. They will also be installing storage batteries at NTT’s communication buildings to serve as backup power sources, and at local-government and MC Group facilities (such as Lawson convenience stores), where they will serve as both BCP4– and energy-management5 resources. These businesses promise to help grow the asset value of EVs and strengthen the energy resilience of outlying regions by promoting more widespread use of decentralized power sources. MC and NTT Anode are also considering application of the technologies below as a means of enhancing value through the integrated lifecycle management of storage batteries, including their secondary uses.
a. Battery in the Cloud6: Developed by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services. Used to monitor and evaluate the residual value of batteries throughout their lifecycles.
b. Kaluza7: Enables intelligent optimization of EVs and storage batteries. Developed by UK-based OVO Group, in which MC invested in February 2019.
The MC Group has considerable expertise in power generation, while the NTT Group boasts first-rate ICT and DC power-supply technologies. Through these initiatives, MC and NTT Anode aim to combine those strengths to provide customers with clean power options and the kind of energy-management services that will make them more resilient to change in the energy landscape.
1.Simultaneous generation of economic, societal and environmental value
2.Information and communications technologies
3.A platform that takes advantage of ICT to organically link storage batteries, EVs, charging stations and other power facilities and equipment within the region to provide customers with optimized energy solutions
4.Business continuity planning
5.Emergency power supplies and sources used for energy management (balancing supply and demand, etc.)
6.A cloud service that continuously analyzes the state of batteries, predicts lifetime and performance, and optimizes the charging process to control battery degradation
7.A platform that automatically controls a wide range of energy-systems-connected smart devices, including EVs, storage batteries and charging equipment.
The Kaluza technology optimizes the devices to use off-peak energy, thereby helping to realize zero-carbon societies.