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Japanese power giant launches solar and battery company

Fight over energy
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

NEW YORK — A power technology conglomerate, known mostly for traditional energy sources like natural gas, has launched a new company to provide solar electricity and battery storage.

Why it matters: The announcement from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, made Monday at the Bloomberg NEF conference, shows how the world's biggest energy and technology companies are adapting to a world, or at least many parts of it, that is demanding cleaner energy sources.

Driving the news: The new company, called Oriden, is a project development firm under the umbrella of Japanese company. The name is a play on the English word "origin" and the Japanese word "denki" (電気), meaning electricity.

"We offer nuclear, we offer coal, we offer hydro, we offer offshore wind, we offer natural gas. We want to be able to offer our customers whatever they want to buy. And we're strong believers that the future here in the United States is a combination of natural gas, renewables and storage."
— Paul Browning, CEO and president, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas

One level deeper: Browning tells Axios in an interview that the decision was partly in response to some state moves away from natural gas, including California and Arizona.

  • "We have to be thinking about what's next," says Browning, adding that hydrogen as a form of storage is also something the company is pursuing.