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Sumitomo, Orix bet on batteries to tame Japan's unstable power grid

New law will let storage systems earn money like solar, wind farms

Storage batteries can play a role in smoothing differences in supply and demand. (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

TOKYO -- Large-scale energy storage systems that link directly to Japan's power grid are set to come online in the next few years as big companies including Sumitomo Corp. and Orix move into a changing electricity market.

Trading house Sumitomo aims to build a 6,000-kW storage system in the Hokkaido city of Chitose.The system, consisting of roughly 700 electric vehicle cells bundled together, is slated to come online in fiscal 2023.

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