Hyundai Motor Group signed a preliminary agreement with US national utility company CPS Energy and Texas-based alternative energy company OCI Solar Power to begin testing used electric vehicle (EV) batteries for solar energy storage.

Under the agreement the partners plan to install energy storage systems (ESS) developed by the automaker in buildings by September 2022.

OCI Solar Power will be responsible for procuring additional ESS components and will supervise construction, while CPS Energy will operate the ESS. All three parties will work to build the ESS and then share and analyse data from the project.

Hyundai Motor said in a statement: “After 7-10 years lithium-ion EV batteries may no longer be as efficient as needed to power vehicles. However, that same battery may be recycled to provide valuable energy storage. This partnership is a major step in testing this technology.”

OCI Solar Power CEO & president of Charles Kim said in a statement: “CPS Energy has been a visionary leader for solar projects in Texas. And now, nearly 10 years after we began developing solar and storage solutions in Texas, we are stepping up our green-energy game. This new collaboration will make us one of the first to study the performance and cost benefits of redeploying EV batteries.”

CPS Energy COO Fred Bonewell said: “Today, we are taking a very important step in advancing our technology in regards to battery storage thanks to this new collaboration. Evaluating these innovative technologies is key to discovering the next firming capacity that would be needed to replace fossil fuels.”

Jae Hyuk Oh, vice president of Hyundai’s Energy Business Development Group, said: “Hyundai Motor Group will verify the possibilities and effectiveness of the ESS business in the North American market through this partnership. The group also plans to expand its energy solution business by grafting hydrogen energy to the battery system and provide flexibility against energy volatility in the US electricity market.”