Last week at VERGE Hawaii, we announced a new partnership with the largest electric utility in Japan and the 4th largest electric utility in the world, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO). TEPCO will join Energy Excelerator’s Global Advisory Board, which includes leading organizations from the United States and Asia Pacific such as the U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy, General Electric, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, State of Hawaii, Hawaii Community Foundation, Vector (New Zealand), and DENSO (Japan).
Japan is undergoing a period of transition in its electricity sector. In April, it fully deregulated its electricity market (residential and commercial). This has opened the door to competition from gas utilities, who will be deregulated next year; and telcom companies packaging electricity with other services. TEPCO’s Director of Innovation, Shin Akimoto, joined us at VERGE Hawaii and explained their need for innovation:
“At a time when TEPCO is adapting to rapidly changing market conditions, this partnership (with Energy Excelerator) will allow us to meet companies with innovative business models and technologies that can help us to better serve our customers in Japan. Our commitment to innovation is deep, broad, and customer-driven.”
Our mission is to solve the world’s energy challenges, starting in Hawaii, which is strategically aligned with the State’s ambitious mandate to be powered by 100% clean energy. This new partnership will allow the startups that Energy Excelerator has sourced, vetted and tested via funded deployments to be shared with Japan’s largest utility. As a member of Energy Excelerator’s Global Advisory Board, TEPCO will gain access to our pipeline of innovation, ability to demonstrate new technologies on their grid, and access to our network of investors and corporates.
Energy Excelerator’s Global Partners add strategic value to the program and its portfolio companies. “We take a market-driven approach to finding and funding innovation,” says Dawn Lippert, Co-founder & Director of Energy Excelerator. “Electricity markets are shifting faster than ever before. Global utilities are taking notice and looking to innovation to maintain their strategic advantage. We are thrilled to have TEPCO join our Global Advisory Board and support technology transfer across international boundaries,” said Ramsay Siegal, international partnerships for Energy Excelerator.
The program’s parent nonprofit, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, started as a collaboration between President Ronald Reagan and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. The TEPCO partnership is part of Energy Excelerator’s larger efforts to support innovation throughout Asia Pacific. “We are thrilled at partnering on clean energy innovation with TEPCO. Japan and Hawaii share many similarities in energy and electricity markets, and this partnership will strengthen both of our abilities to deliver cutting-edge solutions across the Pacific,” says Maurice Kaya, Energy Excelerator’s Senior Advisor and former Administrator for the Hawaii State Energy Office.
Energy Excelerator funds innovative startups to create a 100% clean energy future, starting in Hawaii and Asia Pacific. They invest in energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and cybersecurity companies (up to $1 million USD per company) and open up a world-class network of investors and customers to help portfolio companies solve the world’s energy challenges. Energy Excelerator was recently named a top 10 accelerator in the world, and is currently recruiting companies for their 2017 cohort – applications close on July 1. For more information visit: energyexcelerator.com/apply.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving more than 27 million homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 63 subsidiaries and affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 43,330 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, totaled 6.8 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information, visit http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/index-e.html.