UK-based residential energy storage firm Moixa is to export British battery technology to Japan under a partnership agreement with the country’s Itochu trading house.
The deal, which includes a GBP5 million ($7.1m) investment in Moixa by Itochu, a Fortune 500 company, will enable Moixa to launch its GridShare platform in Japan— technology that manages and optimises home energy storage systems.
Itochu said it will have sold more than 6,000 units of “Smart Star” home battery systems through its distribution network in Japan by the end of March 2018 and will install GridShare as standard on products by the summer of 2018.
“The technology will save customers money by using artificial intelligence to optimise the performance of their battery based on their patterns of behaviour, the weather conditions and market prices,” Itochu said.
Itochu, which is also a major supplier of battery chemistry to leading energy storage brands, said it will work with Moixa to promote GridShare “to address the growing market for battery management services”.
Moixa said its Smart Battery is a “compact (50cm x 30cm x 20cm), cost-effective, wall-mounted unit that fits easily into homes and is easily installed”. It is an all-in-one lithium-ion phosphate battery system, “requiring no additional equipment, and AC-coupled, so it can take advantage of smart tariffs by importing electricity from the grid when it is cheap, and provide options for back-up power”.
The company said the battery has a 20-year lifespan.
According to figures from the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association, Japan had more than 125,000 energy storage systems in 2016, which Moixa and Itochu forecast will exceed 500,000 in 2020. Itochu said official data also indicates Japan has the world’s third largest fleet of electric vehicles. “GridShare optimises the performance of batteries and can also manage large fleets of devices to help support solar generation, control vehicle charging and deliver services to the electricity grid,” Itochu said.
Koji Hasegawa, general manager of Itochu’s Industrial Chemicals Department, said: “Moixa has pioneered battery management and we are proud to be investing and working together to target the rapidly growing energy storage market in Japan. Moixa’s GridShare will help our customers get more value for their home batteries and will offer solutions to help our partners manage Japan’s low-carbon transition.”
The Itochu partnership further strengthens Moixa’s relationships in Japan following last year’s investment from the country’s largest utility, Tokyo Electric Power Company and a partnership with Hitachi to develop a smart energy grid in the Isles of Scilly.
Moixa CEO Simon Daniel (pictured) said: “GridShare optimises the performance of home batteries by learning patterns of household energy use and solar generation, and adjusting to local weather and energy price signals. It can also help customers make more money by using their spare battery capacity to provide services that help utilities and electricity networks balance supply and demand.”
Meanwhile, Moixa said it has raised GBP500,000 from existing shareholders, alongside the Itochu investment, towards its global sales push. This follows GBP2m raised in 2017 plus a GBP1m funding facility from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Moixa said it also aims to market services to electricity networks and is planning trials in the US and Europe this year”.