BYD Batteries Find Home In 4 MW Energy Storage System In Ontario, Canada

3 years ago by Mark Kane 3

Energy storage applications

Energy storage system applications (Source BYD)

California Governor Jerry Brown stands with the American employees of BYD Motors at the April 2014 Unveiling Ceremony of the First American-Made, Long-Range, Electric Bus

California Governor Jerry Brown stands with the American employees of BYD Motors at the April 2014 Unveiling Ceremony of the First American-Made, Long-Range, Electric Bus

Renewable Energy Systems Canada announced final certification of the company’s second energy storage system, Amphora (named after an ancient type of vessel), installed in Central Strathroy, west of London, Ontario.

The system, developed by RES Canada for “frequency regulation,” uses 2.6 MWh of BYD America lithium-ion batteries, which indicates that the Chinese company is progressing well in North America. System can be charged or discharged by 4 MW of power.

“the system is comprised of a +/-4 megawatt (MW) (8MW total range)/ 2.6MWh lithium battery that will provide a service called “frequency regulation” to Ontario’s grid operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Amphora will operate under a three year agreement with the IESO and the facility has a lifespan of more than 10 years.  The site was provided by Entegrus, a utility providing electricity, renewable energy, and water supply to more than 40,000 customers in Southwestern Ontario.”

Two containers of BYD batteries weight some 40 tons, but we believe that, beside cells, there is a lot of other stuff inside like inverters.

The press release indicates that Navigant Research estimates that worldwide revenue from advanced batteries for utility-scale energy storage applications will grow from $164 million in 2014 to more than $2.5 billion in 2023.

Peter Clibbon, Senior Vice President, RES Canada stated:

“RES Canada is pleased to bring our first Ontario energy storage project online. We believe investments in developing energy storage infrastructure are critical to improving the flexibility and efficiency of an increasingly complex grid system.”

Micheal Austin, Vice President of BYD America commented:

“BYD is proud to work with RES Americas on this important project and appreciates their visionary leadership in the energy industry. We share a common vision of a low-carbon electric grid that is enabled and balanced by battery energy storage.”

Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, IESO remarked:

“Alternative technologies on the power grid are gaining momentum. This is the first grid-connected battery on the IESO’s system and the experience we gain will help demonstrate how this technology can help us balance power flows, and ultimately maintain reliability.”

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3 responses to "BYD Batteries Find Home In 4 MW Energy Storage System In Ontario, Canada"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    This sounds good in theory as it helps balance the erratic nature of renewables on the grid.

    Obviously the key to making this kind of system work depends on the cost of the batteries.

    I am guessing that it is an even harder business model to make work than for our EVs.

    If you start calculating how many kwh of battery storage you need for even a short period of time on the grid the number gets overwhelming.

    I’m wondering if it is a sustainable business model even at 150$/kwh. (giga factory goal on cost)

  2. Robert says:

    The point of this system, is for “frequency regulation”, which means balancing quick, and heavy loads: Motor start surges, being the most obvious thing that causes a load which reduces the system sine wave frequency below the 60 Hz (cycles per second) target: Generators can correct for this, but not as fast as a live battery system like this, depending on high speed electronic switching systems, which are several times more responsive than a turbine changing speed to compensate for the surge load, which, falls of as quick as it rose, now needing the turbine to reduce speed again.

    Think of this like a quick, but small float balance, but for electricity.

    This system is not as big as the 32 MWh system I once read about connected to a 90 MW+ Wind Farm. That one was for floating between the raw grid and the wind turbines, for the purpose you are relating to.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Just so.

      Initially these systems will cope with frequency variation.

      Load varies on a whole range of time scales and needs a cascade of technologies to balance it.

      At the fastest, quickest end of the scale capacitors are used, so if there is a gust of wind or a cloud passes over the sun there is an instant response.

      Batteries are the next up, and take over rather longer intermittencies.

      Then you have what is called spinning reserve, which is gas turbines which are, as the name says, kept spinning so that response is very fast indeed.

      Keeping them spinning costs fuel, so if batteries can start nibbling away at that then big fuel savings can be made.

      Above that peak power, ie heavy load for a couple of hours or so to cover for instance the morning or evening period of high demand when everyone is ccoking and so on is covered by gas turbines fired up for the purpose.

      In the US since gas is cheap these are almost always single cycle gas turbines, not the far more efficient but pricier combined cycle turbines.

      Covering that with batteries is a real challenge, but on the horizon of possibility, although of course charging and discharging a battery has an energy cost.

      As for covering seasonal variation, forget about it with batteries!
      It is a couple of orders of magnitude too large to cover with batteries.