Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has released its 18-month Outlook report covering the period from January 2016 to 2017. Over that time period, IESO expects the amount of grid-connected solar generation to increase by about 380 MW while distribution-connected solar generation is expected to increase to 2,150 MW. “Growth in embedded solar and wind generation capacity and on-going conservation initiatives reduce the need for energy from the bulk power system, while also putting downward pressure on peak electricity demands,” stated the report’s authors.
IESO awards major contracts for essential battery storage projects
IESO and SunEdison Inc. have signed a 10-year agreement for the supply of a commercial, grid-connected 5 MW battery storage project. Data from the project will be analyzed to show how storage can be used to optimize the power flow from wind and solar and cut down on expensive system upgrades.
“By integrating energy storage into their grid, the Ontario IESO gains access to a powerful new tool that has the potential to transform how it operates the power system,” explained Tim Derrick, SunEdison’s general manager of advanced solutions. This type of project is a first for the company and one of the first commercial flow battery projects in Canada. Construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2017 and completed by the end of the year.
SunEdison is one of five companies to which IESO offered a total of nine (16.75 MW) energy storage project contracts. These projects are a part of IESO’s plan to secure a total of 50 MW of energy storage in Ontario. “Storage technology remains one of the most innovative and exciting aspects of our energy policy, ” said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy, “particularly because of the incredible potential it presents. It will help strengthen our system and improve service to electricity consumers.”