IESO selects five companies for testing energy storage technology

Anthony Capkun
July 25, 2014
By
July 25, 2014 - Ontario’s grid operator—Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)—has selected energy storage technologies from five companies that aim to provide “ancillary services to support increased reliability and efficiency of the grid”: Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., Convergent Energy and Power LLC, Dimplex North America Ltd., Hecate Energy and Hydrogenics Corp.

“Storage facilities on the grid are a real game-changer,” said Bruce Campbell (photo), IESO president and CEO. “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.”

By procuring storage, Ontario will get a head start on testing new technologies to help manage the changing conditions on the power system, says IESO, adding it will take lessons learned from these projects (totalling 34MW) to understand how to better manage the grid’s daily operation using electricity storage.

Projects information

• Canadian Solar Solutions Inc.: battery technology = 4MW
• Convergent Energy and Power LLC: battery flywheel technology = 12MW
• Dimplex North America Ltd.: thermal technology = 0.74MW
• Hecate Energy: battery technology = 14.8MW
• Hydrogenics Corp.: hydrogen technology = 2MW

A) All successful projects must provide at least one ancillary service to the power grid:

• Regulation: acts on a second-to-second basis to match generation to demand, and helps correct variations in power system frequency.
• Reactive Support and Voltage Control: needed to maintain voltages and support the flow of electricity along powerlines.

B) These projects include facilities connected to the high-voltage transmission network in
southern and northern Ontario, and projects connected to the distribution system in southern Ontario.

IESO says the project selection process was overseen by a fairness commissioner to ensure impartiality and transparency. The process of finalizing contracts with each supplier has begun and is targeted to be complete by the end of the summer.

Energy storage promises to help relieve localized congestion in the transmission system, as well as maximize the output from wind and solar power generators by storing energy when it’s available to be used later when it’s needed. It can also, says IESO, correct small variations in electric frequency on the power system and support voltages.

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