TOKYO, Jan. 21 (Kyodo) — Panasonic Corp. and Epco Co. said Tuesday they have agreed to set up a joint venture to buy electricity from households generated with solar panels.
They will invest 300 million yen to establish the new company on Jan. 31, aiming to win contracts of more than half a million households and post sales of over 20 billion yen by fiscal 2018.
Electronics giant Panasonic will hold a 51 percent stake while the rest will be owned by Epco, which designs equipment related to solar power generation.
The joint venture plans to acquire know-how for procuring power from households, with an eye on the 2016 liberalization of the electricity retail market that will allow consumers to choose lower-rate suppliers.
Masahiro Ido, vice president of Panasonic's Eco Solutions Company and new president of the joint venture, said at a press conference in Tokyo the companies will take advantage of their strong relations with house makers and customer support expertise to win contracts of about 10 percent of households equipped with solar panels.