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Aptly named WindCharger BESS comes online in Alberta

October 16, 2020 | By Anthony Capkun

WindCharger battery energy storage system via Twitter @TransAlta, October 2020

October 16, 2020 – TransAlta Renewables reports that Alberta’s first utility-scale, lithium-ion energy storage project—WindCharger—began commercial operation yesterday, October 15.

WindCharger employs Tesla Megapack technology, with a nameplate capacity of 10 MW and total storage capacity of 20 MWh. The battery energy storage system (BESS) can be fully charged in about 2 hours, says TransAlta, and will be powered by the company’s Summerview II wind farm.

“This technology shows strong commercial potential, and this particular installation has enough capacity to power all the homes in nearby Pincher Creek for approximately 90 minutes on only one charge,” said John Kousinioris, president, TransAlta Renewables Inc.

The project did not require any new infrastructure investments, as it is entirely behind-the-fence. It has a total capital cost of about $14.5 million, with roughly 50% funded through the support of Emissions Reduction Alberta.

As part of the acquisition, TransAlta will pay a fixed monthly capacity charge for the right to operate and dispatch the battery in the Alberta market.

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