Ontario's grid operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), has announced new energy storage projects meant to help increase grid reliability and efficiency, as well as to maximize the output from wind and solar power.
The IESO selected technologies from five companies, including Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., Convergent Energy and Power LLC, Dimplex North America, Hecate Energy, and Hydrogenics Corp. The grid operator says the energy storage facilities will connect to the high-voltage transmission network in southern and northern Ontario or the distribution system in southern Ontario.
The IESO says it will take the learnings from these new projects, totaling 34 MW, to understand how to better manage the day-to-day operation of the power grid using storage.
"Storage facilities on the grid are a real game-changer," comments Bruce Campbell, president and CEO of the IESO. "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."
The Ontario government's Long-Term Energy Plan identified the need to move forward with 50 MW of energy storage. The Ontario Power Authority will follow this procurement by the IESO to obtain the remainder of the 50 MW target.
"Investing in energy storage technologies is an important part of the Ontario government's plan to provide clean, reliable and affordable power to consumers," says Ontario Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli. "Together with the IESO, we're building a smarter, more advanced grid that will ensure our entire system uses energy as efficiently as possible."