Sony Corporation ("Sony") and Hydro-Québec today announced that they 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.
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.
The new company 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-Québec's operation and control technologies for electric power supplies as well as its lithium-ion battery material technology. 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, and the integrating renewable energy sources into power grids.