NTT to Launch New Energy Business Using 'Direct-current Area Grid'

2019/04/03 18:03
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo & Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) will move forward with a new "smart energy" business.

It will establish a company to promote the energy business in the first half of fiscal 2019 in the aim of doubling the sales of the NTT group's energy-related businesses to ¥600 billion (approx US$5.38 billion) by fiscal 2025. This was announced March 27, 2019.

Thus far, the NTT group's energy-related businesses have been run mainly by NTT Facilities Inc, Ennet Corp and NTT Smile Energy Inc, and the sales of the businesses have been increased to about ¥300 billion by working together with electricity and gas business operators.

For the new smart energy business, a "direct-current area grid" will be established by fully utilizing the NTT group's information and communications technologies, power supply technologies (e.g. direct-current power supply), communication building resources (e.g. storage batteries) and other technologies, know-how and assets. With the direct-current area grid, NTT plans to provide new values by improving energy efficiency, providing anti-global warming measures, utilizing renewable energy and improving resilience against disasters while complementing alternating-current grids.

NTT cited three fields (power generation, power transmission/distribution/storage and retail/wholesale electricity) and five components. Specifically, it plans to (1) supply renewable energy-derived electricity in the field of power generation, (2) run a VPP (virtual power plant) business, advanced EV (electric vehicle)-related business and back-up power source business in the field of power transmission/distribution/storage and (3) supply low-environmental-load electricity in the field of retail/wholesale electricity.

The company for the promotion of the energy business will establish a system for promptly providing new services by, for example, strengthening the governance of group companies and optimizing the development and supply of services and resources. Also, it plans to improve competitiveness and expand revenue by launching businesses using the B2B2X model in cooperation with partner companies and cooperating with group companies such as NTT Urban Solutions.

In April 2018, NTT announced that it would form a partnership with Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc on the establishment of new energy infrastructures and found TN Cross (joint venture). At that time, NTT proposed the concept of the direct-current grid that is for each region and uses the two companies' infrastructure assets for the first time.