Panasonic, Power-One join forces for energy storage

by James Martin II on February 7, 2013

Panasonic and Power-One energy storage

Global electronics manufacturer Panasonic and the world’s 2nd largest inverter manufacturer Power-One have teamed up to develop energy storage systems for the US, European markets, and Japanese markets. Their storage solutions will be aimed at the residential, commercial, and utility markets in the USA and Europe, and commercial and utility-scale markets in Japan.

The two companies will collaborate on the development, production, and marketing of the energy storage systems. Each company brings complementary expertise and experience to the table. In addition to the positive reviews they’ve received for their high-quality HIT solar panels, Panasonic is a world leader in lithium-ion batteries (in growing demand thanks to the growing electric vehicle market). Power-One has a long history and a good reputation in power conversion technology, especially when it comes to renewable energy.

The companies had good things to say about one another in the press release announcing the partnership.

Dr Alex Levran, President of Renewable Energy Solutions at Power-One:

We are thrilled to be aligned with such an innovative company and house-hold brand as Panasonic. Energy storage resources will greatly increase the adoption, use and sustainability of renewable energy systems throughout the world in homes, businesses, and in large utility plants. Panasonic’s strengths lie in the development, production and sale of products like their home energy management systems (HEMS) and lithium-ion battery cells, which are vital for power storage systems. Combining Panasonic’s expertise in battery and battery storage with our advanced inverter technology should prove to be an unbeatable combination.

Mr Tamio Yosioka, Managing officer and director of energy system business group at Panasonic Eco Solutions:

We are pleased to collaborate with Power-One, a global leader in the power inverter business. With the combination of Panasonic’s strengths in energy management technology and related products and Power-One’s breadth of expertise in power inverter technology, we are well positioned to develop the energy storage systems business around the world, as well as expanding the non-residential segment of the energy management business in Japan.

The Panasonic/Power-One announcement is another sign that energy storage is poised to take on a significant role in electrical energy infrastructure within this decade. The German government announced in January that it will begin subsidising energy storage. Germany has a track record of success when it comes to energy industry transformation and its leadership on solar panels and other renewables has had implications far beyond its borders. A number of other companies have energy storage solutions under development. Japan’s Kyocera, for example, launched a solar-specific storage system last year in Japan in a partnership with battery component manufacturer Nichicon.

Affordable energy storage is vaunted as a catalyst for more affordable and more versatile use of renewable energy–in particular scalable but ‘intermittent’ technologies such as solar and wind–both of which are coming down quickly in price. It would also offer homes and businesses who have solar panels a greater degree of energy independence, allowing them to store energy that they produce themselves for later use.

Top image via Panasonic

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