Released: April 14, 2021, 7:46 am
Quebec's largest grid-scale battery storage system to date will maintain power and quality for customers of Canadian utility Hydro-Québec while major transmission line modernization work is underway in the province.
The public utility and transmission system operator are replacing 60 wooden gantries with steel gantry cranes, converting a 1.2 km section of a 58 km transmission line from a substation in La Vérendrye to Parent municipality and replacing key equipment at more than 200 points.
The power supply for several hundred local private and commercial customers in the Parent community is maintained using a 4 MW / 20 MWh battery storage system while the transmission grid is out of operation. The first work, including the installation of the battery system, is planned for spring this year to spring 2022. However, further maintenance will be carried out through 2035 and the energy storage is expected to remain in place.
The local network is being separated from the network in a project that, according to the energy supplier, is also intended to serve as a technological example of how decentralized backup energy sources can be remotely integrated into the network during planned work and failures. Hydro-Québec operates a total of more than 260,000 km of transmission lines in its networks.
The battery system will continue to be used in the grid in order to cope with peaks in demand after the initial work has been completed. Hydro-Québec said in a press release yesterday that the energy storage facility will improve continuity of service in this remote region of northern Canada served by a single transmission line. Analytics firm BloombergNEF recently estimated that energy storage used for transmission and distribution services will have a market value of $ 277 billion between 2020 and 2050. Falling battery costs make the technology competitive with new power lines and help reduce grid congestion.
“The Parent substation project will be the first energy storage system in our network to meet the transmission network's need for continuity of service by providing an auxiliary source of energy through islanding in the event of failures and planned shutdowns,” said Hydro-Québec transmission energy and equipment group Maxime Lajoie , Senior Director for Planning, Expertise and Operations Support, said.
“The project will increase the resilience of the electricity grid in the region.”
Hydro-Québec founded a subsidiary called EVLO Energy Storage Inc (EVLO) in December last year, which develops, markets and operates battery storage systems (BESS) based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. EVLO will supply the parent project's battery system integrated with the company's advanced software solution for remote management and operation of the BESS.
“The energy storage system can be charged at night and used to power the city during the day, while the line is dead for the work to be done. This innovative solution will limit the use of fossil fuel generators, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce noise pollution and transport Fuel, “said Alain Aubuchon, director of business relations at EVLO.
The utility company, which is the sole shareholder of the Quebec government, officially announced a 9 MWh EVLO project in northern France for renewable energy developer Innergex when EVLO launched last year. Yesterday it was announced that it is also supplying a smaller energy storage system to Hydro-Québec's first solar PV project in the Canadian province.
The subsidiary has also carried out several smaller projects in Quebec: one that combines solar and specially developed BESS that can operate at temperatures as low as -60 ° C in the off-grid Inuit community of Quaqtac, and one for a Neighborhood microgrid in Lac – Mégantic, a city undergoing major redevelopment.
Analysis: Interest in energy storage in Canada is growing beyond the initial wave of industrial assets in Ontario
The development and deployment of the energy storage market in Canada has until recently focused primarily on the commercial and industrial sector (C&I) in Ontario, where a system called Global Adjustment Charge means that large industrial electricity users are charged a premium for their utility electricity during times of electricity becomes peak demand. Installing batteries to shave this peak has provided a strong business model and has resulted in the development of many large battery systems and an inflow of investment into the sector.
However, other energy storage applications have already been explored, including a pilot for the procurement of high-speed services planned for this year by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), while Ontario's Independent Electric System Operator (IESO) published a number of intermediate markets rules and manuals for energy storage ‘a few months ago.
Energy Storage Canada trade association recently welcomed these initiatives and said that steps are being taken across the country to integrate energy storage into planning for the future. The federal government's recognition of the importance of energy storage in the clean energy transition, also touted as a means of economic stimulation and revitalization, was also praised by the group, while Canada's National Infrastructure Bank said so in January as part of an infrastructure Investing CA $ 10 billion (US $ 7.97 billion) in a growth plan in a 250 MW / 1,000 MWh battery project in southwestern Ontario.
Among other encouraging developments, Alberta's first grid-scale renewable energy storage system, a 10 MW / 20 MWh BESS called WindCharger, recently went online, and the Provincial Utilities Commission approved its first major Solar Plus storage project. In the remote Yukon Territory, a 7 MW / 40 MWh battery project is also under development by a publicly owned public utility that will help two First Nation communities reduce their dependence on diesel generation.
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