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Ontario makes Canada’s biggest-ever battery storage procurement to meet target

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The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has made Canada’s biggest energy storage procurement to date, selecting nearly 1.8GW of projects through a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The Canadian province’s government announced yesterday (9 May) that it has made its selection of winners in the Long-Term 1 Request for Proposals (LT1 RFP), adding 410.69MW from three bids by non-storage resources (biogas, natural gas) to 10 battery storage resource bids totalling 1,748.22MW, to procure a total 2,194.91MW.

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The selected battery storage contracts range from 9MW for the smallest to 390MW for the largest. Eligible storage resources must be able to deliver energy to the grid for at least four consecutive hours.

The procurement is designed to help Ontario meet electricity demand growth through to the end of this decade and put it on a pathway to cope with a projected 60% increase in demand over the next 25 years.

It follows the staging last year of a predecessor, the Expedited LT1 RFP, which saw the award of contracts to 881MW of energy storage projects in two tranches. The first concluded a year ago, in May 2023, with 739MW of contracts awarded, and the second in June 2023, with 142MW of winning energy storage bids.

The RFPs have been launched in line with the ‘Powering Ontario’s Growth’ government plan, which will also provide for investments in other infrastructure and resources to support both increasing industrial activity and residential housing growth to the middle of this century.  

Ontario energy minister Todd Smith said in a LinkedIn post that the average price of winning energy storage bids in LT1 was CA$672.32/MW (US$492.05/MW), which was a 24% decrease from the CA$881.09/MW average price of the previous round last year.

Trade association Energy Storage Canada said that the fall in price cemented energy storage’s status as “the most affordable new capacity resource available in the market – period,” and that further tenders would help maintain this downward pressure on costs and foster competitiveness.

The province of Ontario had said in 2022 ahead of launching the Expedited LT1 procurement that it would target between 1,500MW and 2,500MW of energy storage out of a total 4,000MW of new capacity resources it would procure. With the Exepedited LT1 and LT1 tenders added to the state-supported 250MW/1,000MWh Oneida energy storage project, the province has now secured 2,915MW of storage resources.

Toronto-based developer Potentia Renewables got the biggest contract in the round at 390MW, for its 412.72MW nameplate capacity Skyview 2 BESS project in the Township of Edwardsburg, in the East zone.

As with eight other selected BESS projects, equity in Skyview 2 is 50% or more First Nation-owned, another aspect of the RFP that Energy Storage Canada applauded.

Other big winners included a 380MW contract for Shift Solar Inc.’s Grey Owl Storage project (nameplate capacity 400MW), in the Arran-Elderslie municipality.

Familiar names to Energy-Storage.news readers Brookfield Renewable and Aypa Power also got big wins: Brookfield Renewable won two contracts totalling 400MW, for its Fitzroy BESS project (250MW IESO contract, 265.5MW nameplate power) and its Trailroad BESS (150MW IESO contract, 159.3MW nameplate output); Aypa Power, a developer owned by asset manager Blackstone, won two contracts also totalling 400MW, comprising the company’s Elora BESS (200MW IESO contract, 210.53MW nameplate) and Hedley BESS (also 200MW contract, 210.53MW nameplate output).

Full results and more information on the LT1 can be found on the IESO’s website.

This article has been amended to reflect that Aypa Power is not the developer of the Onedia project, as was originally incorrectly stated.

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