Sony, Hydro-Quebec Form Storage Battery JV

Jun 9, 2014
Kiyotaka Nakanishi, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Sony Corp and Hydro-Quebec announced June 3, 2014, that they have established Esstalion Technologies Inc, a joint venture for the research and development of large-scale energy storage systems for power grids.

Hydro-Quebec is the largest power company in Canada.

The headquarters of Esstalion Technologies are located in Varennes, Quebec, Canada. The company will develop energy storage systems for power grids by combining Sony's technologies related to olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries and power storage systems and Hydro-Quebec's technologies related to the operation and control of power grids.

Specifically, it will focus on the research and development of battery material technologies suited for power grids as well as the development of technologies to control storage batteries for peak adjustment at transformer substations and further introduction of renewable energy-based power generation facilities.

Sony is the company that commercialized a lithium-ion rechargeable battery for the first time in the world, and olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate rechargeable batteries allegedly feature a high safety. Considering that its battery segment will grow faster than any other segments in its device business, Esstalion Technologies will focus on the development of batteries for power grids, for which the market is expected to grow globally.

Hydro-Quebec is one of the largest hydropower companies in the world and deals with power generation, transmission and distribution. It has been engaged in the development of storage battery technologies in the aim of improving the efficiencies of power generation facilities and facilitating the introduction of solar and wind power generation systems.