Another big battery installed in Sarnia-Lambton
Last year an unnamed company in Sarnia-Lambton’s Chemical Valley had the largest ‘behind-the-meter’ battery in North America installed, to help it shave millions of dollars off its yearly energy bills.
By Tyler Kula
The new battery installation at Shell in Corunna. The 10MW battery is one of the largest private energy storage systems in North America.
Last year, an unnamed company in Sarnia-Lambton’s Chemical Valley had the largest “behind-the-meter” battery in North America installed to help it shave millions of dollars off its yearly energy bills.
Now, Shell in Corunna has done the same.
New York-based Convergent Energy announced this week it’s completed another 10-megawatt, 20-megawatt-hour energy storage site.
Combined with the other unnamed site, the Shell battery – capable of covering one-third the refinery’s 30-megawatt electricity load – represents half of Convergent’s 40 megawatt of installations in Ontario, said Convergent vice-president Toby Tiktinsky.
A half-megawatt battery was also installed at a Shell lubricant facility in Brockville, he said.
“We are in talks with other facilities to install similar large, behind-the-meter (private) energy storage systems,” he said. “Sarnia is an ideal place for it because, obviously, there are lots of large electricity consumers there who are exposed to (general adjustment)” charges, part of energy billing in Ontario brought in with the Green Energy Act 10 years ago.
Class A facilities – those with greater than one megawatt of demand – can get a break on that charge by paring down use during peak hours, he said.
The battery enables that, storing up to 20 megawatts that can be released at 10 megawatts per hour over two hours.
Other options for energy savings include installing generators – which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions – or simply cutting energy use, Tiktinsky said.
“A behind-the-meter energy storage asset is ideal for facilities that cannot curtail,” he said.
Bigger battery installations exist in utility company substations, but for private installations the sweet spot is 10 megawatts, he said.
Anything above that takes longer to get permitted and connected, he said, noting the Shell project took nine months, only two to three of which were constructing and hooking up the battery.
Construction wrapped up about a month ago, he said.
There are other benefits for energy storage, including reducing peak capacity needs for the grid and allowing more flexibility for the introduction of “variable-generation” renewable energy sources, he said.
Convergent makes its money from a share of the utility savings companies see. Tiktinsky said he couldn’t provide that percentage or the cost to install the battery.