Nissan Wins License to Trade in Japanese Power Market

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest automaker, received a license to buy and sell electricity in the nation’s wholesale power market.

Nissan received the license this year, according to the Japan Electric Power Exchange’s website. Toshitake Inoshita, a Nissan spokesman, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the membership.

Nissan follows Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and Nippon Paper Group Inc. among a growing number of non-energy companies entering the Japanese wholesale power market. Electricity prices have risen after the 2011 Fukushima disaster resulted in most nuclear plants nationwide being shut down.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which supplies power to Japan’s biggest industrial area, raised corporate electricity rates by an average of 15 percent from April 2012. Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. said they’re planning to raise rates for companies by 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively, from May 1.

The power exchange, established in 2003, had 61 trading members including Panasonic Corp., Fujifilm, gas utilities, refiners and trading companies as of March 19. It had 59 members at the beginning of the year.

Separately, a Toyota Motor Corp. unit may be preparing to sell electricity. Toyota Turbine & Systems Inc. submitted a registration form yesterday to the trade and industry ministry to start retail power distribution, said Shohei Kanasugi, an official at the ministry’s electricity market division, confirming part of a Yomiuri newspaper report.

Toyota Turbine plans to buy tens of thousands of kilowatts of electricity generated by other companies’ factories or traded at the wholesale market, then supply the electricity to its retail shops, the Yomiuri newspaper reported today. Eiji Miura, a sales manager at the Toyota unit, confirmed the reported plans.

(Corrects company comment in seventh paragraph to say Toyota Turbine plans to sell electricity to its retail shops in story published April 2.)
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