Echelon and ITOCHU Partner to Provide Energy Management & Smart Street Lighting Solutions

February 08, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Echelon Corp. announced that it has entered an agreement with ITOCHU Corp. of Japan to be an authorized distributor and partner. ITOCHU, one of the leading trading companies in the world with approximately 150 locations in 74 countries, engages in trading for products ranging from energy and solar, to aerospace, electronics and chemicals. Echelon and ITOCHU plan to jointly develop and sell solutions for the emerging global smart grid market, with a focus on enterprise energy management, street lighting, and renewable energy.

"Conservation of energy and development of renewable energy sources are ITOCHU’s focal business areas. There is a huge, global market opportunity to provide open, distributed energy control solutions that support enterprise energy management, smart street lighting and management of renewable energy. We believe Echelon’s products are a perfect match for these solutions," said Tomohito Arai, General Manager, Information Technology Business Department of ITOCHU.

Multiple strategic business units are involved in the new Echelon relationship within ITOCHU’s ICT, Aerospace & Electronics Company. The start-up team consists of resources from two departments, Industrial Machinery & Electronic Systems Department (IM&ES) and Information Technology Business Department (ITB). ITOCHU will initially focus on expanding the Japanese market for Echelon’s Neuron® 5000, FT 5000, and power line smart transceiver LonWorks® 2.0 microprocessor products. ITOCHU also expects to create new applications for Echelon’s i.LON® SmartServer energy manager and control network integration software products.

Echelon’s smart power line products have particularly strong potential in the Japanese market. "Power line communication is enabling tremendous cost savings for customers, allowing them to use existing power lines to transmit data and eliminating the need to lay new communications lines." says Kiyoshi Fujii, Deputy General Manager, Industrial Machinery & Electronic Systems Department (IM&ES) of ITOCHU.

"We are excited about ITOCHU as our new channel partner because they provide expertise and opportunity to Echelon on many different levels. Our energy control network technology combined with ITOCHU’s vast reach, expertise in the marketing of electronic components, including semiconductor devices, and network integration capabilities should provide world-class system solutions that support the emerging, global, smart grid market," said Anders Axelsson, Senior Vice President, Commercial Market for Echelon.