TOKYO Japan's Sharp Corp will team up with
Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd and Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd to
develop large lithium-ion batteries that can store solar energy
for houses, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.
The deal will help Sharp, the world's largest producer of
solar cells, expand its solar power system business while
enabling Japanese homebuilder Daiwa House add value to its
homes with energy-saving technologies, the Nikkei said.
Sharp plans to invest around 600 million yen ($5.56
million) in large lithium-ion battery developer Eliiy Power Co
Ltd in March, the Nikkei said.
Currently, Daiwa House and Dai Nippon Printing, provider of
electrode materials used in lithium-ion batteries, each hold
stakes worth about 600 million yen in Eliiy Power, a spokesman
for Eliiy Power said.
While existing household solar power systems can convert
sunlight to energy, they cannot store power for later use.
Homes thus rely on other forms of power on cloudy days or at
night, a Daiwa House spokesman said.
But with large lithium-ion batteries, with up to 40 times
the storage capacity of existing smaller batteries used in
mobile phones and laptop computers, homes can have power even
when the sun is not out, the Eliiy Power spokesman said.
Eliiy Power plans to build a factory to produce large
lithium-ion batteries in the business year 2009/10, the Nikkei
A Sharp spokeswoman said the firm is looking into storage
batteries for households, but nothing has been determined.
Daiwa House and Dai Nippon Printing spokesmen declined to
confirm the Nikkei report. The Eliiy Power spokesman said the
company is considering bringing another partner into its
lithium-ion venture, but did not provide details.
Shares of Sharp rose 1.7 percent to 2,135 yen as of the
morning close on Tuesday. Daiwa House shares climbed 1.5
percent to 1,121 yen, while shares of Dai Nippon Printing fell
0.6 percent to 1,699 yen.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Chris Gallagher)