Marubeni eyes distributed generation in Japan and North America with specialist investment

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Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation has invested in US-based company, GridMarket, which is focused on distributed generation projects using battery storage, solar PV, fuel cells, and combined heat and power. 

Marubeni is looking to capitalise on GridMarket's ability to use proprietary analytics and machine learning to identify cost-effective project opportunities and source technologies to build distributed generation systems across its huge network. The Japanese firm has been working solar energy for two decades but is now looking to promote distributed generation systems for its customers by applying GridMarket's services particularly in North America, Japan and island areas.

The move should help to reduce electricity bills for consumers.

This is not the first time that a large conglomerate or traditional power companies has taken an interest in distributed generation opportunities, although many such cases are in developing countries. For example, French energy giant Engie has recently teamed up with Myanmar-focused off-grid energy specialist Mandalay Yoma to help spur rural electrification across the Southeast Asian country with mini-grids combining PV, diesel and battery storage. French power giant EDF also acquired a 50% stake in the Togo-focused unit of off-grid renewable energy specialist BBOXX.

Mining firms worldwide also enjoy the cost benefits of combining solar with diesel.

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