By Anthony Capkun
December 20, 2012 – Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) says it has taken a major step forward to increase the participation of alternative technologies (such as aggregated loads, flywheels and battery storage) in the electricity market by selecting three new suppliers of regulation service: a grid-balancing function “traditionally provided by generators… a first for Ontario”.
Regulation is a contracted service that acts to match total generation on the system with total demand on a second-by-second basis, explains IESO. By helping to correct small, sudden changes in power system frequency, it balances power flows and maintains the reliability of the power system. This quick response is becoming increasingly important to facilitate more renewable resources like wind and solar, whose output is variable in nature, adds IESO.
“Real-time, real-world experience with new sources of regulation will allow us to see how non-traditional resources behave,” said Paul Murphy, president and CEO of IESO (in photo by A. Capkun). “Engaging and empowering new participants will provide much needed flexibility in the way we run the power system, which is important in the context of our changing supply mix.”
Through an RFP issued earlier this year, IESO sought to procure up to 10MW of regulation from alternative sources such as dispatchable loads, aggregated demand-response and storage technologies, including batteries and flywheels. IESO has now entered contract negotiations with the three successful proponents: Enbala Power Networks Inc., NRStor Inc., and Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada).
Enbala operates a demand-side storage network that “creates a new revenue stream for businesses” (e.g. water plants, cold storage facilities, universities and hospitals, as well as other industrial, commercial and institutional facilities) to participate in providing flexibility to the grid.
“We are excited to work with the IESO to deliver regulation service to Ontario. Starting early 2013, Enbala will deliver an aggregated network of demand-side storage, growing to 4 MW,” said Ron Dizy, president and CEO, Enbala.
NRStor Inc. aims to accelerate the commercialization of energy storage technologies. It has partnered with Temporal Power (flywheel technology) and Ontario Power Generation to deliver 2MW of regulation service to IESO by promising fast-response energy to provide grid-balancing.
“I congratulate the IESO on paving the way for new storage technologies to be commercially introduced on the grid,” said Annette Verschuren, chair and CEO of NRStor.
RES Canada offers a suite of development and construction services for wind, solar, storage and transmission projects.
“We are delighted to have won the IESO’s competitive tender for regulation service, and look forward to delivering Ontario’s first battery regulation service,” said Peter Clibbon, VP of development for RES Canada.
IESO is responsible for managing Ontario’s bulk power system and operating the wholesale electricity market.