Ontario System Operator Procures 34MW Storage To Test In Grid Operation

Ontario’s IESO wants to understand how to better manage the day-to-day operation of the power grid using electricity storage.
Published: Thu 21 Aug 2014

​Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), looking to build greater flexibility and resiliency into the power system, is moving ahead with its initiative to test the addition of energy storage in the provision of ancillary services.

34MW storage in phase 1

Following a Request for Proposals issued in March [Engerati-Energy Storage Procurements Forging Ahead in Ontario] the IESO has selected 34MW of storage technologies from five companies:

  • Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. – 4MW battery storage
  • Convergent Energy and Power LLC – 12MW battery and flywheel
  • Dimplex North America Ltd – 0.74MW thermal
  • Hecate Energy – 14.8MW battery
  • Hydrogenics Corp. – 2MW hydrogen.

Each of the projects must provide at least one frequency regulation service or reactive support and voltage control service.

“Storage facilities on the grid are a real game changer,” commented Bruce Campbell, President and CEO of the IESO on the procurement. “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.”

An aim is to compare the operational characteristics of the different technologies.

10MW of regulation from alternative sources

This new procurement will build on a current initiative from the IESO to introduce 10MW of regulation from alternative sources.

The first project, 4MW of regulation through aggregated demand response from ENBALA, came online last October. The second project, 2MW of flywheel storage from NRStor, was commissioned in late July. The third and final part, 4MW of battery storage from Renewable Energy Systems Canada, has just been granted final certification.

50MW storage target

The new procurement is part of a targeted 50MW of energy storage by the end of 2014 identified in the Ontario government's Long-Term Energy Plan.

With the first phase of procurement now complete, the next phase is now in motion to procure the balance of 16MW. The Ontario Power Authority, which is leading this phase, expects to post a draft Request for Qualification before the end of August.

The focus will be on how storage can best meet the future capacity needs of the system, allow for the deferral of transmission investments, and enhance the value of renewable generation. It will be used to test alternative commercial arrangements for storage solutions, including behind the meter or distribution company located.

A plan to review and address the regulatory barriers to the participation of storage in Ontario’s electricity market is also included in the procurement framework.