Energy & Power
NRC program to strengthen Canada’s energy storage value chain
By Anthony Capkun
October 8, 2013- Integrating renewable energy technologies, including wind and solar, into Canada’s electricity infrastructure can be accelerated by overcoming technical and cost barriers to grid-scale energy storage, says the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), which is why the council announced its Energy Storage for Grid Security and Modernization research program.
“This large-scale, multi-year collaborative approach will deploy a critical mass of expertise in targeted areas to help resolve the reliability and affordability challenges of integrating new technologies into a modernized electricity grid,” said Andy Reynolds, general manager of NRC’s Energy, Mining and Environment portfolio. “This will help grow Canada’s renewable energy sector and create new markets for enabling technology and material suppliers, including the mining industry.”
Canada’s electricity grid will require significant maintenance and upgrades over the next 20 years, which could raise energy costs for consumers, notes NRC. Energy storage helps manage variable daily and seasonal energy generation and consumption levels and make more efficient use of existing transmission and distribution assets.
It also provides opportunities for peak shaving and arbitrage (purchasing electricity and storing it when prices are low, then selling it when prices are high). By distributing energy storage technologies close to consumers, multiple economic benefits can be provided by a single installation, adds NRC, which will reduce costs for end users.
NRC’s energy storage program establishes new collaborative and co-investment opportunities for the energy storage value chain, including material and technology developers and suppliers, systems integrators, utilities, independent power producers and other end users.
Clients and collaborators have access to world-class competencies and state-of-the-art facilities conveniently located at NRC sites across the country, boasts the council, including the full-time dedicated efforts of 35 researchers based in Ottawa and Vancouver. Energy storage efforts will be focused around client-driven research and development, demonstration and validation, and strategic support to facilitate market adoption.