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Hydro-Qubec, Sony team-up to form Esstalion Technologies


Hydro-Québec and Sony Corp. have teamed-up to form a business venture to research and develop large-scale energy storage systems for power grids.

Esstalion Technologies Inc. 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 and performing the activities at a common location, the new company intends to research and develop highly safe and reliable systems 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 integrating renewable energy sources into power grids.

The Esstalion portion of the new company’s name is a hybrid term that combines ESS (for Energy Storage Systems), Station (as a venue for energy management), and Lithium-ion, and represents energy storage systems for power grids that use lithium-ion battery technologies, the subject of the joint venture company’s research and development.

“The key for the successful growth of Sony’s battery business in the future will be the market for large-scale energy storage systems for power grids and, by using Hydro-Québec’s wealth of knowledge and technological expertise, as well as focusing on research development,” says Tomoyuki Suzuki, EVP, corporate executive officer, device solutions business, RDS Platform, Sony Corp. (also representative director and president, Sony Energy Device Corp.

“I believe we will be able to produce results. Furthermore, we will strive to contribute to society and enrich people’s daily lives by building and popularizing an extremely safe and reliable energy infrastructure,” he adds.

Thierry Vandal, president and CEO, Hydro-Québec says, “by combining Hydro-Québec’s know-how in the operation and control of electric power systems as well as our lithium-ion battery material technology, together with Sony’s expertise and leadership in rechargeable batteries and highly scalable module systems, we think we will succeed in developing high-performance energy storage systems for large-scale applications, as well as battery material technology suitable for use in power grids. “