Ontario operator awards 16.75MW of storage projects to five companies

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The IESO board of director 2-14/15Credit: IESO
Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected five companies to deliver nine energy storage projects with a total capacity of 16.75MW.

The five chosen companies are Ameresco Canada (4MW), SunEdison Canada Origination (5MW), NextEra Canada Development & Acquisitions (4MW), NRStor (1.75MW) and Baseload Power Corp (2MW).

The projects, ranging in capacity from 1-2MW each, will have reactive functions in response to changes in the grid and will cost around US$9 million per annum. They include:

Four solid batteries (8MW)
Four flow batteries (7MW)
A compressed air system (1.75MW)

Baseload Power Corp for example is working in a public-private partnership with IESO and Milton Hydro Distribution to build a four-hour, 2MW leading edge flow battery in Milton with the ability to store up to 8MWh of energy.

Ameresco will design, build, own, operate and maintain two 2MW, four-hour solid battery energy storage systems on Newmarket Hydro’s distribution grid.

SunEdison will provide a total of 5-20MWh of energy storage systems in three separate projects utilizing flow battery technology and Vanadium Redox chemistry.

NextEra Energy Canada’s two storage projects will utilize lithium-ion batteries

Meanwhile NRStor has partnered with General Compression, which is a supplier of fuel-free compressed air energy storage technology, to deliver more than 7MWh of storage capacity.

IESO has now reached its target of 50MW of energy storage in Ontario. It launched its Alternative technologies for Regulation scheme in 2012 and is already using storage technology for regulation in order to maintain a “second-by-second balance on the grid”. However, the new projects are being used for back-up purposes as well as arbitrage value, which involves storing energy during periods of lower priced electricity and using the stored electricity at peak times.

IESO said the storage systems can reduce local congestion in transmission and distribution networks in some cases, which will allow utilities to possibly avoid costly system upgrades. They will also smooth out intermittent sources of renewable energy from solar and wind technologies.

Bob Chiarelli, Ontario minister for energy, said: “Storage technology remains one of the most innovative and exciting aspects of our energy policy. It will help strengthen our system and improve service to electricity consumers.”

Bruce Campbell, president and chief executive of IESO, said: “The energy storage market is maturing. These projects will help us better understand how energy storage technologies can support the operation of the grid by providing much needed quick response and operational flexibility.”

In August Ontario laid claim to the largest flow battery installation in North America and Europe with the award of a 2MW project in Canada to US manufacturer Vizn Energy.

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