Battery facility in Sarnia would help regulate frequency, act as a temporary backup during blackouts, Bluewater Power VP says
The City of Sarnia and Bluewater Power are hoping a proposal for an energy storage hub gets the green light.
Sarnia City Council recently endorsed a plan to lease land to Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada for the company to build a 10-megawatt battery energy storage facility, large enough to balance out unsteady frequency from renewable sources like wind and solar, and act as a temporary backup power supply in the event of a blackout.
“We have a lot of green energy in our system,” said Chris Gould, vice-president with Bluewater Power, noting eight solar farms contribute 80 megawatts to the Sarnia-Lambton utility’s distribution system.
“As many solar farms go up and as many wind farms go up, I think over the coming years you’re going to see as many energy storage projects develop,” he said.
“At a high level, we offer technical expertise … and we offer what operation and maintenance of it will look like from our standpoint,” he said.
Renewable Energy Systems, the RES Canada parent company, has been involved in more than 100 wind and solar energy projects totaling 10,000 megawatts on four continents, city officials said.
It also operates one of the first grid-connected batteries in North America, the Amphora station in Strathroy.
The actual batteries are encased in sea containers, set in place on pillars or footings and connected to nearby transformers.
The proposal calls for about a half acre’s worth.
The Sarnia battery hub’s proposed 10 megawatts is about five per cent of Bluewater Power’s distribution system, Gould said, noting the system operates between 185 and 200 megawatts at any given time.
Climate changing management rainfall runoff
Climate changing management rainfall runoff.
Storm water management in an age of climate change could see the use of more “soft behaviours” along with hard pipes, says a Sarnia engineer.
Philip Keightley, an engineer and project manager with Sarnia-based MIG Engineering, spoke Thursday about the challenge of climate change at the third annual Sarnia-Lambton Water Symposium, at the Lambton College Event Centre.
“We’ve basically practiced storm water management in some form or another since we started to urbanize,” said Keightley.
Since the 1970s, when he began working in engineering, that management focused on trying to get water, falling as rain or snow, away from urban areas.
That led to taking another look at storm water management practices including the use of “soft” approaches, he said.
“It you’re in a city, it’s all hard surfaces,” he said.
“We need to look at a different approach when you’re looking at climate change,” Keightley said.
“We know with global warming we’re seeing more extreme events.” It has led to looking at approaches to development that seek for ways to mitigate the effect of increased runoff and storm water pollution, by managing the runoff as close as possible to where it originates, he said.
The symposium also showcases Sarnia-Lambton’s capacity in the areas of the water and waste water research, as well as provides an opportunity for partnerships to form between industry and researchers, he said.