NEC Corp, a network, communications and IT company, has signed an agreement with power group Enel Distribuzione to form a strategic partnership for developing next-generation smart grid systems in Italy.

Enel and NEC will undertake joint feasibility studies as well as deploying advanced, flexible and cost-effective solutions for smart grids, focusing in particular on energy storage.

The two companies will launch a pilot project testing energy solution systems based on lithium ion batteries, developed by NEC and applied to the Enel distribution network.

Within the framework of the agreement, the two companies will leverage their technological and operational assets to jointly evaluate a wide set of solutions for smart grid and smart cities.

The agreement also encompasses a range of additional areas and technologies related to smart city projects.

NEC executive vice president and member of board Junji Yasui said that the company aims to cultivate its smart grid business as a building block for its global energy business expansion, leveraging on core in-house competences developed over the past decades.