Hydro-Québec, an electric utility which gets most of its power from large hydroelectric plants and other renewable sources, sees electrified transport as a natural complement to its business. Its research division, IREQ, spends $100 million a year on research in various energy-related fields, and has been working on advanced batteries for 30 years.
For its latest project, Hydro-Québec will team up with B3CG Interconnect and other partners to test vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) power exchanges. V2G is about using electricity stored in the batteries of plug-in vehicles as a backup energy supply for electricity grids during peak periods, and to balance out the intermittent nature of renewable energy – some say it will revolutionize the power industry. V2H allows EV owners to use their batteries as a temporary home power source during outages.
IREQ will build a special test vehicle for the project, incorporating a battery made with its own patented lithium iron phosphate materials. Hydro-Québec subsidiary TM4 will supply its latest MФTIVE electric powertrain system, and B3CG Interconnect will develop a two-way charger designed to both recharge the battery and supply power to the grid.
“We would like to better define the potential long-term contribution of this technology,” said Denis Faubert, General Manager of IREQ. “Through this initiative, Hydro-Québec will continue to spearhead the integration of electric vehicles into the power grid and become a showcase for Québec know-how.”
“Thanks to the presence of Hydro-Québec and major Québec buyers of world-class transportation systems, Québec industries can carve out a place on the world market for electric vehicles and related technologies, said Stéfan Baumans, CEO of B3CG Interconnect. “Our company will focus on niche markets such as urban public transit and vehicles for outdoor recreation and mining.”