Sony and Hydro-Québec are to form a joint venture to research and develop a large-scale energy storage system for power grids, the companies have announced.
The intention is to combine Sony’s control techniques for olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries and scalable module systems with Hydro-Québec’s operation and control technologies for electric power supplies as well as its lithium-ion battery technology.
With these resources the companies plan to research and develop an energy storage system for large-scale applications, aimed at meeting excess demand during peak times and integrating renewable energy sources into power grids, among other applications.
A second research focus will be on new battery material technologies to be used in electric power systems.
The new company will be established in June 2014, Sony said.
Yoshito Ezure, senior vice president, corporate executive and senior general manager of Sony’s energy division, device solutions business group, commented, “”I am confident that through our partnership with Hydro-Québec, which possesses deep knowledge of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, we will be able to develop an optimum large-scale energy storage system to meet the demands of customers. In addition to Sony’s energy storage systems for the home and office, we will aim to expand our business using the technology produced through our joint development and contribute to the spread of sustainable electricity infrastructure.”
Élie Saheb, executive vice president for technology at Hydro-Québec, said, “We are delighted to be working with Sony, a pioneer in lithium ion batteries. By combining Hydro-Québec’s experience in electricity systems and its R&D work in energy storage with Sony’s expertise in lithium-ion battery production, we are creating a world-class joint venture with the necessary expertise to manage the R&D of batteries for renewable energy storage (solar and wind) and the smart grid.”