"Green energy" is generated from natural energy sources such as solar power, which has a low impact on the global environment. In May 2010, we launched a joint pilot project called the Green Crossover Project together with Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture. The project adopts a crossover approach in realizing a low-carbon society through the development of advanced applications for green energy and lithium-ion batteries.
In the medium-term management plan, Frontiere 2010, ITOCHU has designated solar power generation, energy storage devices, and water resources as key focus areas in the Environment & New Energy business area. The Green Crossover Project is an innovative low carbon transportation initiative that integrates solar power generation and energy storage devices. As a trading company, we believe that ITOCHU's role in achieving a low-carbon transportation society is to create a bold vision and strategic plan for a new society (system). This pilot project envisions laying down the foundation for a low-carbon transportation society, combining a wide range of environmental technologies and devices, including solar power generation, electric vehicles, quick chargers, energy storage batteries, and ICT. Our goal is to promote the creation of new environmental and value-added business models, based on this vision for a new society.
We launched Japan's first pilot project on low-carbon transportation system, integrating solar power and electric vehicles (EVs) in Tsukuba City. Three MAZDA DEMIOs were converted to EVs, and deployed as the official vehicle for Tsukuba City, company vehicle for FamilyMart convenience store, and vehicle for car sharing to the Tsukuba residents. In line with the project's goal for EVs with zero CO2 emissions, photovoltaic power generation systems, stationary storage batteries, and quick chargers have been installed at FamilyMart "Tsukuba Science City Store" and ITOCHU ENEX "Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS" to charge EVs using solar-generated electric power.
As a first step in developing a competitive, environmental business model, ITOCHU is promoting the secondary use of the lithiumion car batteries for grid storage, and is conducting a comprehensive analysis of the battery degradation as well as the operational data. The ITOCHU Group, together with leading companies from various industries, will be deploying advanced technologies such as integrated energy management systems using Information and Communication Technology (ICT), car sharing, and billing system for quick charging. By leveraging ITOCHU Corporation's unique strengths of having convenience stores and gas stations as group companies, Green Crossover Project is the first step toward realizing our goal for a low carbon society as well as smart grid and smart cities.