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Regulators and Legislators in Canada Urged Using Energy Storage Alongside Renewables

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A new report outlines how Canada can achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but only if regulatory and policy environments are modified to allow massive expansion of wind, solar, and energy storage.

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA), a trade group with over 300 members, issued an urgent call to action last week. CanREA outlined five key actions to speed up the country’s transition to low-carbon energy, including supporting the deployment of energy storage systems.

We have no time to waste. Getting to net-zero by 2050 will require Canada to build out wind energy, solar energy and energy storage at an unprecedented scale and speed,” said Robert Hornung, CanREA president and CEO. “These technologies will play a central role in driving the rapid decarbonization and massive expansion of electricity production required to make net-zero a reality.”

Five Key Activities

1. Decarbonize Canada’s electricity production by 2035: Implementing a Clean Electricity Standard, requiring a growing percentage of power on the grid to come from low-carbon sources, and ensuring natural gas generation is subject to carbon pricing by 2030 are direct steps toward this goal.

2. Modernize electricity markets and regulatory structures to reduce grid carbon emissions: Defining and providing economic value for services to maintain grid stability and security is recommended as an immediate action. CanREA recommends removing market entry barriers for such resources.

3. Diversify and expand procurement opportunities from new, low-carbon electricity generation: in Alberta’s deregulated electricity market, this means removing barriers to participation for energy storage, distributed energy resources (DER), and other disruptive technologies. Other procurement processes should be designed to maximize competition.

4. Prioritize transmission infrastructure efficiency and regionalization: CanREA recommends that energy storage and distributed energy resources (DERs) should be considered as non-wires alternatives to costly grid infrastructure investments.

5. Implement better strategies to increase the use of decarbonized electricity and green hydrogen in transportation, structures, and industry: The trade association argued that Canada must develop comprehensive electrification and green hydrogen strategies.

Energy storage has rapidly become a leading market in the United States while in Canada the situation is very different, even taking into account the country’s population size and urban population.

Currently, commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage is the biggest opportunity for batteries in Canada. The Ontario Independent System Operator (IESO) charges large electric users a premium for using the grid during peak hours. Using batteries to reduce peak can save a lot of money.

A portfolio of commercial behind-the-meter projects worth CA$5.6 million (US$4.43 million) was closed earlier this month by Canadian power developer, asset manager, and IPP SWITCH Power.

It also closed an equity financing for the 3.5MW, five-project portfolio it is buying from Peak Power Inc. Selected SWITCH projects were recently sold by Peak Power as part of a larger 25MW/44MWh transaction involving nine projects.

Also during November, to help decentralize and decarbonize energy, Opus One, Elexicon Energy and Marshall Homes announced a solar-plus-storage microgrid project together earlier this month.

An integrated microgrid of 25kW rooftop solar PV and a 250kW/500kW BESS will power Altona Towns, a new-build community of 27 homes. By funding the project, IESO hopes to replicate the model and learn from it.

In March, Rangooni stated that grid operators are beginning to recognize the value of energy energy storage in Canada, including an Alberta grid services tender and the Ontario IESO publishing interim market rules and manuals for energy storage participation in energy markets. 

Original source material for this article taken from here

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Written by Olivia Woods

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