The Energy Storage Report 2024

Now available to download, covering deployments, technology, policy and finance in the energy storage market

Canada’s TransAlta buys 50% stake in 4.8GWh Alberta pumped hydro project


Canadian power generation and wholesale marketing company TransAlta has acquired a 50% stake in an early-stage development pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project in Alberta.

TransAlta has formed a partnership with Montem Resources Limited, owner of the 320MW Tent Mountain Renewable Energy Complex PHES plant in the southwest of the province. Montem is a mineral exploration company headquartered in Australia, with its core activities including developing coal mines for steelmaking.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Enjoy 12 months of exclusive analysis

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Annual digital subscription to the PV Tech Power journal
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The pair will jointly manage the project, and TransAlta will be its developer, while the acquisition includes a share of Tent Mountain’s land rights, fixed assets and intellectual property.

The closed-loop PHES plant would have an expected operational lifetime of more than 80 years and would have up to 15 hours storage duration (320MW x 15 = 4,800MWh). Key advantages of the site selection include topography that includes an existing upper reservoir – Tent Mountain is in fact the site of a decommissioned Montem mine, and the reservoir was part of that.

Technical and environmental work has already been done including hydrology assessment. Up next will be additional geotechnical analysis, which is being carried out this year.

On the expected closing of the transaction next month, TransAlta will pay Montem an initial CA$8 million and make additional payments of up to CA$17 million (US$12.63 million) as the project moves forwards.  

The company, which has over 5.7GW of assets in operation in its home country, in addition to just over 1.2GW in the US and 500MW in Australia, announced the transaction yesterday.

That includes 100% ownership of 17 existing hydroelectric power plants in Alberta and the province’s the largest wind portfolio, while the company was behind Alberta’s first-ever large-scale battery storage project – at one of its wind farms – completed in late 2020.

The Tent Mountain project is anticipated to come online and begin commercial operation in the 2028-2030 timeframe, if construction can get underway “as early as 2026,” TransAlta said.

“The Project can support the reliability of the Alberta grid with a proven technology that is non-emitting and has a significantly larger capacity and duration than other currently available storage options. We believe long-duration storage projects, like Tent Mountain, are essential to support the reliability of the grid in Alberta as wind and solar penetration increase on the path to net-zero electricity,” TransAlta CEO and president John Kousinioris said.

As the full Tent Mountain Renewable Energy Complex monicker implies, there could be other resources built as part of the project: the TransAlta-Montem agreement includes the IP for a 100MW green hydrogen electrolyser and 100MW offsite, onshore wind generation facility.

Read Next

April 10, 2024
A compressed air energy storage (CAES) project in Hubei, China, has come online, with 300MW/1,500MWh of capacity.
April 9, 2024
Battery technology startup Alsym Energy is keeping the exact chemistry of its product under wraps for the time being, the company has confirmed to
April 9, 2024
Developer and operator EsVolta has secured a US$185 million senior secured credit facility for its US battery energy storage system (BESS) project pipeline.
April 8, 2024
Investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has closed funding for its Valley of Fire Fund, raising US$600 million in capital commitments from what it called “leading US and European institutional investors”.
April 8, 2024
US-based startups Torus and Alysm Energy have raised a combined US$145 million to scale up their non-lithium energy storage technology businesses.

Most Popular

Email Newsletter