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Hybrid ship ahoy: Valence to supply Siemens

Lithium ion battery company Valence signs deals to supply energy storage for hybrid boats and to utility S&C Electric for storing wind and solar power on the grid.

Lithium ion battery company Valence plans to supply batteries to Siemens for hybrid ships and to Chicago utility S&C Electric for grid storage.

Its deal with Siemens Drive Technologies calls for Valence to develop energy storage for a planned hybrid marine propulsion system from Siemens. Valence will hook up its lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries to Siemens' drive system via a standard interface, the company said.

The two companies have already supplied a hybrid drive train for double-decker buses from Wrightbus.

Valence on Wednesday said it intends to supply grid-connected storage systems for S&C Electric, which will enable the utility to use more wind and solar power.

Austin, Texas-based Valence is one of several small battery companies vying for business from large industrial companies in transportation and the power industry. Making deals with large corporations is vital to their success.

A123 Systems, for example, signed a deal with Chrysler for electric vehicles, though that deal is now in question, as Chrysler may be acquired by Fiat. Boston Power last week said it is already testing its Swing car battery pack with automakers.

Grid storage, too, has become a potential market, as more utilities look to large-scale storage--on the order of 1 or 2 megawatts of capacity--to stabilize the flow of electricity on the grid, and to store solar and wind power.