Image: Moixa.

Moixa has made greater strides into the Japanese market after securing £5 million investment from trading house Itochu, which will install the British company’s GridShare aggregation platform as standard on its own home battery product.

Less than a year after securing £500,000 of investment from major utility TEPCO, the latest funding will aid Moixa’s international expansion, not least in Japan where it will be able to launch GridShare to the battery market.

Meanwhile Itochu will promote the platform, which uses artificial intelligence to optimise the performance of their battery based on their patterns of behaviour, the weather conditions and market prices, as well as adding it to its own Smart Star battery systems.

Since entering the residential energy storage market in 2013, over 6,000 9.8kWh Smart Star units – equivalent to around equivalent to 55MWh – are expected to be sold in Japan by the end of March 2018. Itochu will then install GridShare as standard on its products by the summer of 2018.

Koji Hasegawa, general manager of the industrial chemicals department at Itochu, 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 British battery firm, which recently secured £250,000 from the UK government to expand GridShare to include aggregation of third party units for the first time, will now seek to expand its partnerships with Japanese utilities and electric vehicle manufacturers, and to market services to electricity networks.

In Japan, the 10-year period for the solar feed-in-tariff scheme will begin to expire in 2019. This is expected to lead to an increase in self-consumption of power that is generated using solar systems and energy storage systems, as one Japanese company, Solar Frontier, told our sister site Energy-Storage.News in 2016. From 2020, all new Japanese homes are also expected to be required to meet net zero or zero energy standards, something which could have a strong impact on uptake of batteries at household level in a country where the majority of people still buy a plot of land on which to build their own home, as opposed to moving into recently-vacated exsiting residences.

Simon Daniel, chief executive of Moixa, said: “Itochu is a major player in the global battery market and this partnership provides a real opportunity for us to expand our business in Japan and provide GridShare technology to many global battery companies.”

The company is also planning trials in the US and Europe this year.