Hydro-Québec and Sony form JV for Utility-Scale Energy Storage
Hydro-Québec and Sony Corporation have agreed to establish a joint venture to research and develop a large-scale energy storage system for power grids. Sony and Hydro-Québec plan to establish the new company in June, 2014. The new company will utilize Hydro-Québec's operation and control technologies for electric power supplies as well as its lithium-ion battery material technology, together with Sony's control technologies for highly safe, reliable, olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries and highly scalable module systems. By combining these strengths, 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 at electric power substations, and integrating renewable energy sources into power grids.
â€œI am confident that through our partnership with Hydro-QuÃ©bec, 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 Sonyâ€™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,â€ commented Yoshito Ezure, SVP, Corporate Executive, Senior General Manager of Energy Division, Device Solutions Business Group, Sony Corporation
â€œWe are delighted to be working with Sony, a pioneer in lithium ion batteries. By combining Hydro-QuÃ©bec'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,â€ added Ã‰lie Saheb, Executive Vice President â€“Technology, Hydro-QuÃ©bec.
Forecasts indicate that demand for large-scale energy storage systems will increase in the future, to meet high level demand for electric power during peak times, stabilize fluctuations in electricity generated by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power that are gaining traction, and secure a stable power supply in case of outages or disasters. Furthermore, the energy storage system for such power supplies must be highly safe and reliable due to the need for an efficient and stable source of high capacity power.