Hydro-Quebec teams with Sony on energy storage (could you do something similar?)



Quick Take:  Are you trying to rethink your energy storage strategy? I hope so, since there is more and more evidence grid-scale batteries will soon be cost effective. And since more and more utilities' regulators are requiring energy storage.


Here's a clever way to go about it. Partner with a battery company. Get them to point their R&D resources toward your particular needs. And then hope that you come up with something that you can jointly sell to the rest of the world. You get the insights you need for your long-range planning. And maybe you make some money on it down the road. Smart.


The joint venture will use Sony's lithium-ion batteries, plus its modular systems and control technologies. It will use Hydro-Québec's grid operation and control technologies. The companies are aiming at large-scale applications, such as satisfying peak-time demand at substations and buffering the variability of renewable energy sources. - Jesse Berst


Sony and Hydro-Québec Announce the Establishment of a Joint Venture to Start Development of a Large-Scale Energy Storage System for Power Grids

Sony Corporation ("Sony") and Hydro-Québec 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.

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