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Itochu Dives into U.S. Solar Energy Market with Large-Scale Projects

Strategic move targets booming demand, leveraging subsidies and tech giants' renewable push
i 8001.TSE Blue Chip 150
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Japanese trading giant Itochu is making significant inroads into the U.S. solar energy sector, embarking on the development of large-scale solar power plants to meet the increasing American appetite for renewable energy. The initiative, buoyed by government incentives and the tech industry’s shift towards green power, represents a strategic expansion of Itochu’s role in the renewable energy domain.

In a pioneering move, Itochu has secured state approvals for three sites in Illinois and Arkansas, planning solar plants with a combined capacity of 330,000 kilowatts. These projects, aimed at selling electricity to Meta (formerly Facebook), highlight Itochu’s full-spectrum approach, from site selection to energy sale. The trading house has already facilitated the sale of these sites to an investment entity led by the Lego Group’s founding family, marking a notable foray into a market ripe with opportunities.

Itochu’s ambition doesn’t stop here; the company aims to scale its U.S. solar portfolio to 10 million kilowatts by 2030. This growth strategy leverages the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which is expected to double the annual addition of solar capacity to 53 million kilowatts by 2030. Itochu’s model streamlines the development process, offering a turnkey solution to investors by handling land acquisition, regulatory approvals, and securing end-users for the generated energy.

This strategic pivot reflects a broader trend among tech giants like Meta and Amazon, which are increasingly committed to integrating renewable energy sources into their operations, particularly as they expand their data center footprints. Itochu’s entry into the U.S. solar market underscores the trading house’s adaptability and foresight in capitalizing on the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions.

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