A new battery energy storage system (BESS), to be built next to the Napanee Generating Station, will have the owner of that generating station taking on the new project.
Atura Power, which already owns and operates the Napanee Generating Station, has been selected by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for the BESS project, the company announced on Thursday, Jun. 8, 2023.
According to a release from Artura Power, the 250-megawatt (MW) Napanee BESS project represents 35 per cent of the new energy storage capacity recently announced by the IESO. With seven new projects totalling 739 MW of energy storage capacity, it’s the largest energy storage procurement ever in Canada.
“Energy storage is a key component in building a clean economy,” said Shelley Babin, President and CEO of Atura Power. “Atura Power is proud to own and operate the infrastructure necessary to support a consistent and reliable supply of clean energy for Ontario.”
Atura Power was registered in October 2019 as the brand name for Ontario Power Generation’s wholly-owned subsidiary operating the largest, most efficient gas-fired fleet in Ontario, according to the company. It represents 10 per cent of Ontario’s total dispatchable fleet and is 100 per cent contracted with Ontario’s IESO. According to the release, the company’s flexible energy is readily available during peak demand periods, which is important given the intermittent nature of solar and wind power.
The Napanee BESS project will include battery equipment and associated infrastructure. According to the release, the system will be located next to Atura Power’s Napanee Generating Station in Greater Napanee, and is expected to be operational by May 2026. Construction of the system will inject about $60 million into the Ontario economy, Atura stated.
The project is owned through a joint venture (JV) with Atura Power and Ameresco, a leading cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator.
“We are proud that Ameresco was one of the forward-thinking companies that provided the IESO with pilot projects that gave them confidence that BESS systems are ready for prime time at this size,” said Lou Maltezos, EVP of Ameresco. “In partnership with Atura Power, we are honoured that our JV has been selected by the IESO for this battery energy storage system installation, one of the largest in Canadian history. This project is designed to significantly bolster the province’s energy security and reliability, ushering Canada into a greener, more sustainable age.”
Ontario’s electricity system requires at least 4,000 MW of new electricity capacity by the end of the decade to maintain the system’s future reliability, according to the IESO. This need is driven by the ongoing refurbishment of Ontario’s nuclear fleet and a growing demand for electricity. Artura said that these new capacity resources must operate reliably during times of peak system demand.