Ontario selects technologies for 34MW grid storage trial

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A flywheel storage system, similar to one launched in Ontario last month, will be among the technologies on trial in the province. Image: Temporal Power.
The Canadian province of Ontario is preparing to install a variety of new energy storage technologies after finalising details of a 34MW commercial-scale storage trial.

Following a competitive tendering process, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected technologies from five separate providers, which it now plans to test for their contribution to grid stability.

The chosen technologies include battery, flywheel, thermal and hydrogen storage systems, and include one big-name manufacturer, Canadian Solar, which will provide a 4MW battery unit.

The other successful bidders are Convergent Energy and Power, with a 12MW flywheel, Dimplex North America, with a 0.75MW thermal system, Hecate Energy with a 14.8MW battery and Hydrogenics Corp with a 2MW hydrogen system.

IESO said the procurement would help give Ontario a head-start in developing new technologies to support changing power system requirements as more variable renewable energy sources are incorporated.

"Storage facilities on the grid are a real game changer," said Bruce Campbell, president and CEO of the IESO. "Our electricity system was built on the concept that you can't store large amounts of electricity – we produce electricity at the same time as we consume it.  Energy storage projects will provide more flexibility and offer more options to manage the system efficiently."

The technologies were chosen on the basis that they were able to provide at least one or more so-called ancillary service to the grid – either regulation, to match generation to demand, or reactive support to maintain voltage levels along power lines.

Robert Stasko, executive director of Energy Storage Ontario, said the procurement deal would offer “important new capabilities” to the province in optimising its clean energy resources.

“This first commercial procurement is a major step towards unlocking the full value of energy storage for the province and Energy Storage Ontario looks forward to working closely with the IESO in defining the optimal capacity of energy storage on the Ontario grid.

“The IESO’s leadership to incorporate enhanced capabilities from energy storage highlights Ontario’s continued position as a global smart grid leader.”

The Ontario Power authority is planning to procure a further 15MW of grid storage capacity to meet a 50MW target identified in Ontario’s ‘Long-term Energy Plan’.

The province has already recently seen its first grid-scale storage facility become operational, a 2MW flywheel system that was commissioned last month.

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