NTT to spend $9bn on building solar and wind energy business

NTT to spend $9bn on building solar and wind energy business

01 July 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Japanese telco and data centre operator NTT wants to generate 12% of Japan’s renewable electricity by 2030, the company has announced.

It will invest a trillion yen (US$9.3 billion) over the next decade to boost generating capacity 25-fold and set up its own power transmission network.

The company will site small generators, equipped with storage batteries, at most of its 7,300 telephone exchanges across the country, and will sell power to nearby commercial users. It plans to build 7,500MW of generating capacity.

According to Nikkei, NTT will also develop large solar and offshore wind power plants, working with its existing electricity unit NTT Anode Energy, which will lead and expand the operations.

According to NTT, that unit was set up in June 2019 as “one of the initiatives of the NTT Group’s medium-term management strategy for addressing societal challenges relating to the environment and energy, with the aim of pursuing ‘smart energy business’ opportunities, combining the group’s existing telecommunications infrastructure including exchange offices and its expertise in DC power supply/distribution and battery storage with its mature information communications technology platform”.

Japanese regional utilities have priority for use of existing transmission lines, creating a barrier to entry. NTT will get around this by creating its own transmission network.

According to Nikkei’s report, NTT becomes the first company with the ability to operate on a national scale to enter Japan’s power distribution market since it was fully deregulated in 2016.