Valence Technology will provide modular, scalable energy storage systems that will be placed in new hybrid-electric yachts, sailboats and motorboats for Beneteau and BeneteauGroup partners. Initial battery shipments under this agreement are expected to commence in the second half of 2010.

Order estimates by BeneteauGroup forecast up to $9m in revenue to Valence Technology during the ensuing 12 months.

The comapany claims that new hybrid-electric sea-going vessels yield low to zero-emissions, reduce fuel consumption and require less maintenance than traditional diesel marine propulsion systems.

Valence Technology said that its energy storage systems can power both propulsion and auxiliary power systems without affecting the vessel’s performance or functionality. One of the features of the new hybrid drive system is the capability to recharge the advanced battery packs without the use of diesel generators.

The ZF Marine hybrid drive system creates kinetic energy when reversing the propeller while under sail, thereby storing this regenerative energy back into the batteries. During normal operating conditions, a boat owner may never need to start the diesel engines to propel the boat and can leave port, sail and return to port completely powered by batteries or clean wind, the company said.

Robert Kanode, president and CEO of Valence Technology, said: ”This is a revolution, not an evolution, in marine propulsion, energy generation, storage and management. Beneteauis setting a new blue water standard for cleaner sailing yachts.

”After intense testing and qualification, it is Beneteau’s intention to launch this new blue water standard powered by Valence Technology’s dynamic energy systems, thereby leading the way in the development of the newest and most environmentally friendly sea vessels.”

At December’s Paris International Boat Show and at January’s Dusseldorf Boat Show, Beneteau, in association with ZF Marine, unveiled the new hybrid-electric drive system powered by Valence Technology energy storage systems.