Esstalion Technologies founded as JV between Sony and Hydro-Quebec

June 03, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Sony Corporation and Hydro-Quebec have established Esstalion Technologies, Inc., as a joint venture (JV) to research and develop large-scale energy storage systems for power grids. As previously announced, Esstalion Technologies will utilize Sony's control technologies for highly safe, reliable, olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries and highly scalable module systems, together with Hydro-Quebec's operation and control technologies for electric power supplies as well as its lithium-ion battery material technology. By combining these strengths and performing the activities at a common location, the new company intends to research and develop a highly safe and reliable system for large-scale applications, as well as battery material technology suitable for use within electric power systems, and explore their use in a wide variety of applications, such as meeting excess demand during peak times, and the integrating renewable energy sources into power grids.

The "Esstalion" portion of the new company's name is a hybrid term that combines "ESS" (for Energy Storage Systems), "Station" (as a venue for energy management), and "Lithium-ion," and represents energy storage systems for power grids that use lithium-ion battery technologies, the subject of the joint venture company's research and development.

Commented Tomoyuki Suzuki, EVP, Corporate Executive Officer, Device Solutions Business, RDS Platform, Sony Corporation Representative Director and President, Sony Energy Devices Corporation, “Sony's battery business possesses unique technological capabilities and Sony is committed to grow it, as well as the image sensor business, into a pillar of our device business. The key for the successful growth of Sony's battery business in the future will be the market for large-scale energy storage systems for power grids and, by using Hydro-Quebec's wealth of knowledge and technological expertise as well as focusing on research development, I believe we will be able to produce results. Furthermore, we will strive to contribute to society and enrich people's daily lives by building and popularizing an extremely safe and reliable energy infrastructure.”

“By combining Hydro-Quebec's know-how in the operation and control of electric power systems as well as our lithium-ion battery material technology, together with Sony's expertise and leadership in rechargeable batteries and highly scalable module systems, we think we will succeed in developing a high-performance energy storage system for large-scale applications, as well as battery material technology suitable for use in power grids,” commented Thierry Vandal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro-Quebec.

Pierre Arcand, Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, added, “This partnership between a world-renowned company like Sony and Hydro-Quebec illustrates Quebec's leadership in the development of high-quality battery materials. Making power systems throughout the world more intelligent and efficient represents a huge challenge, and the development of large-scale energy storage systems is a concrete step towards meeting this challenge.”