How can we act on climate changes and provide the energy needed to meet the global demand? Governments worldwide have invested heavily in renewable energy in recent years, but they also know that storage solutions need to be improved.
That's because storage technology captures energy produced by clean sources and save it for later use. So, the power doesn't need to be used when generated.
As one of the world leaders in the production and use of renewable power, Canada is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2050.
Today, more than 80% of the electricity comes from clean sources in Canada, and the country has tested new energy storage technologies to integrate wind and solar power more effectively into the grid.
Why should you consider energy storage in a renewable project?
Source: Allies Interactive/Shutterstock
It is flexible and can act as a generation, transmission, or distribution asset. Energy storage can help in:
Intermittent generation of renewable assets.
Fluctuations in the grid.
Supply low-cost energy during high-cost peaks.
Backup if power generation is interrupted.
Energy storage trends in Canada
Ontario and Alberta are the provinces ahead of discussions to review existing legislation and identify barriers in the sector with stakeholders. Today, the electricity produced by clean energy can be converted and stored through various means, such as:
According to Energy Storage Canada, an industry association representing over 80 energy storage players across the country, we can see different battery storage chemistry or mechanical storage solutions in the next 5-10 years, such as technologies harnessing kinetic or gravitational energy.
Hydrogen storage and long-duration energy storage (LDES) - technologies that hold energy for more extended periods, upwards of 24 hours or more - could also present some exciting and innovative energy storage solutions in the coming years.
Figure 1: Lithium-ion battery supply chain rankings, in 2020 and expected in 2025. Source: BloombergNEF.
Top 3 energy storage projects
In recent years, Canada had over 40 energy storage projects, including lithium-ion batteries, chemical flow batteries, compressed air energy storage, flywheels, hydrogen storage coupled with fuel cells, and thermal energy storage.
Excluding Sir Adam Beck pumped storage facility at Niagara Falls holds - the highest in the country - Canada's utility-scale, rechargeable energy storage capacity is estimated at approximately 130 MW.
Read about the top 3 projects in the coming years:
This is a 100 MW battery storage project and a 236 MW solar PV project in Sunnynook, Alberta, Canada. Operated by Westbridge Energy Corporation, the project is predicted to work in 2024.
It is currently in stage 1, with environmental studies underway. The project has secured site control in the form of a long-term solar lease for 4-years of development and an operational term of 40 years, which can be extended up to 50 years.
Edmonton Hydrogen Plant
Construction of a low-carbon hydrogen facility through the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Edmonton, Alberta.
The complex will produce blue hydrogen using natural gas held in carbon capture storage near Shell's Scotford facility. It will use advanced Auto-Thermal Reforming (ATR) technology and include a hydrogen-fueled power generation plant and a liquid hydrogen facility.
The first phase of the project is expected to produce over 165,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year with an upside to increase production depending on considerations over future phases, which will be transformed into low-carbon ammonia and exported to Asia.
The facility can create 2,500 construction and engineering jobs near-term, with more job creation to come in the hydrogen transportation industry long-term. The complex is expected to be in operation in 2024.
Ontario Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) Facility
Developed by Hydrostor, the world's leading Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) projects, it is a 300-500MW compressed air energy storage facility in Toronto, Ontario.
The project is in a Conceptual Design stage and is expected to be operational in 2024.
Green Jobs and how Airswift can help you
About 689,900 workers were in a green job in 2020 in Canada. To 2025 are predicted 172,700 net job openings, being:
74,400 new jobs created
98,300 due to retirements
Airswift is partnering with many companies in the sector, supporting projects through the full project lifecycle (Development, Construction & Installation, Operations & Maintenance, and Repowering & Decommissioning).