Canadian Consulting Engineer

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Big name partnership to develop large-scale battery storage for power grids

Hydro-Québec and Sony and have announced a joint venture to develop a large-scale energy storage system for power grids.


Hydro-Québec and Sony and have announced a joint venture to develop a large-scale energy storage system for power grids.

Such large systems to store energy are increasingly necessary to stabilize the power supply as we become more dependent on renewable energy from sources like solar and wind power. The energy from these sources fluctuates with the weather, so storage back-up is needed to prevent possible outages and maintain the power supply on the grid.

Sony and Hydro-Québec will form a new company in June to do the research and development for module battery storage systems using olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries.

In a press release, the companies say they intend to combine their strengths.

Élie Saheb, executive vice president of 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.”

Sony Corporation is predominantly known as a manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, and information technology products. The company had annual sales of approximately $72 billion in fiscal year ended March 31, 2013.

Hydro-Québec, owned by the Quebec government, is Canada’s largest electricity producer and invests $100 million in research every year.