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Developer Enfinite brings online 40MW/70MWh of battery storage in Alberta, Canada

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Alberta-based developer Enfinite has commissioned two grid-scale battery storage projects in the Canadian province, adding to the company’s growing fleet.

The company is developing a portfolio of nine identically sized 20MW/35MWh projects in Alberta. Two already came online in 2020 ahead of the most recent announcement, while the rest are still in development.

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Enfinite has a 74MW existing fleet of generation assets in three Canadian provinces, across technologies that include natural gas and waste heat, to which it has added its 80MW/140MWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects.

By completing five more projects already in construction and adding them to the existing ones, the company plans to get that BESS capacity to 315MWh by the fourth quarter of this year.

The two newly connected systems are Enfinite’s eReserve 3 project in Alberta’s County of Grand Prairie No.1 on privately owned and disturbed land, and eReserve 5, in the Municipal District of Provost no.52, also on privately owned and disturbed land.

Both are sited close to existing substations, and have been financed and developed by Enfinite in its energy storage programme, also called eReserve.

Enfinite launched eReserve back in 2020 when the company was known as WCSB Power Holdings, with an initial trio of 20MW projects, all to be built with Tesla Megapack BESS equipment, eReserves 1-3.

In May last year Enfinite expanded the programme to a total 180MW/350MWh in Alberta. Last week the company said that it now has committed to more than 900MWh of BESS projects this year in total, and has around 400MWh in its pipeline of development prospects around Canada.

While lagging behind its neighbour to the south, Canada’s energy storage market has shown strong signs of life in the past few months, including commitments from government at both provincial and national level to promoting the clean energy technology and interest from private actors.

Various large-scale solar-and-storage projects are in development in Alberta, notably through developer Westbridge, which has a growing pipeline seeking interconnection approvals. Meanwhile power company TransAlta recently acquired a 50% interest in a 320MW pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) plant in development.

In Ontario, which is Canada’s leading province for energy storage so far, the provincial government has teamed up with the national one to support a 250MW/1,000MWh BESS project, the biggest of its type in the country to date. Ontario is also holding Canada’s first major energy storage procurement, targeting between 1,500MW and 2,500MW of storage resources to come online by 2027 when the province is expected to see rising demand come face-to-face with the retirement of existing thermal plants.

It’s a strong but modest start, with trade association Energy Storage Canada advocating that the country will need between 8GW and 13GW by 2035 to stay in line with its climate goals while maintaining reliability of the system and security of supply.

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