Five companies to provide power storage for Ontario

Ontario’s power grid operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), has announced the selection of five companies that will provide up to 50 MW of energy storage technologies and services to help make the province’s power system more flexible and more resilient.

The five companies, which responded to a request for proposals issued by the IESO last March, are Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., Convergent Energy and Power LLC, Dimplex North America LTD, Hecate Energy and Hydrogenics Corp. The technologies to be provided include batteries, flywheel, thermal and hydrogen.

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Energy storage capacity is meant to smooth out fluctuations in power supply caused by periods of latency when the wind is not blowing.

In its press release, IESO says that procuring storage will give Ontario a “head start” on testing new technologies. Learning acquired from these projects will help the operator better manage the grid in future, it says.

Among the benefits of energy storage, outlined in the IESO’s backgrounder, are easing of congestion in the transmission and distribution of power, smoothing out of fluctuations caused by the unpredictability of solar and wind resources, and providing reliability in the electricity system.

“Storage facilities on the grid are a real game changer,” said 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 successful projects will be required to provide at least one ancillary service, either in the form of regulation service, which matches generation to demand and corrects variations in power system frequency, or reactive support and voltage control service to maintain voltages and power flow.

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