Canadian Manufacturing

Lithium battery energy storage system commissioned in Ontario

Project is first grid-connected battery in Ontario, second energy storage project in province in as many weeks

MONTREAL—The first grid-connected battery in Ontario has received final certification, marking the second energy storage system to come online in the province in as many weeks.

Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada) said its Amphora energy storage system west of London, Ont., will help provide frequency regulation to the province’s grid operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

“RES Canada is pleased to bring our first Ontario energy storage project online,” RES Canada senior vice-president Peter Clibbon said in a statement.

“We believe investments in developing energy storage infrastructure are critical to improving the flexibility and efficiency of an increasingly complex grid system.”

The Amphora project is made of a 2.6-megawatt-hour lithium (Li-ion) battery pack that uses lithium iron phosphate, an inherently safe variant of lithium battery chemistry, and consists of two containers that house batteries weighing approximately 20 tonnes each, as well as a third container that converts the direct current (DC) output to alternating current (AC) for the grid.

Equipment for the project was supplied by BYD America Corp., while the site was provided by local utility Entegrus Inc.

“BYD is proud to work with RES (Canada) on this important project and appreciates their visionary leadership in the energy industry,” BYD America vice-president Micheal Austin said.

“We share a common vision of a low-carbon electric grid that is enabled and balanced by battery energy storage.”

RES Canada conceived, developed and built the Amphora system in response to a request for proposal issued by the IESO for as much as 10 megawatts of energy storage in Ontario.

Amphora will operate under a three-year agreement with the IESO, and the facility has a total lifespan of more than 10 years.

“Alternative technologies on the power grid are gaining momentum,” said Bruce Campbell, president and chief executive of the IESO. “This is the first grid-connected battery on the IESO’s system and the experience we gain will help demonstrate how this technology can help us balance power flows, and ultimately maintain reliability.”

The Amphora project marks the company’s second energy storage system delivered in 2014, after a four-megawatt system was built in Sunbury, Ohio.

It also marks the second energy storage facility opened in Ontario, after NRStor Inc.’s two-megawatt flywheel energy storage facility began operations late last month.

The global market for energy storage is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Citing data provided by Navigant Research, a division of Navigant Consulting, Inc., RES Canada said global revenue from batteries for utility-scale energy storage is estimated to grow to more than $2.5 billion in 2023, up from just $164 million this year.

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