24 Mar 2023
The provincial budget tabled in the Nova Scotia Legislature for fiscal year 2023-2024, commits funding to implement numerous clean energy initiatives, including the development of a strategy to issue proposals and contracts for grid-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS).
This funding follows the introduction of Bill 264 by the Honourable Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, that will allow the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables to issue: “requests for proposals for energy storage solutions, like large-scale batteries;” and “contracts for well-developed, innovative energy storage projects that can be implemented quickly” (Electricity Act Amendments Allow More Energy Storage Solutions News Release).
“Nova Scotia’s target to phase out coal and supply 80% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 is achievable, but only if the right amount of energy storage is in place well in advance of this deadline” said Justin Rangooni, Executive Director, Energy Storage Canada. “This new legislation and funding sends the right signal to industry to accelerate investment in their projects and partnerships, and to prepare them for commercial operation. We applaud the government’s leadership and look forward to supporting the development and implementation of the province’s energy storage strategy.”
- Producing electricity from coal represents approximately half of Nova Scotia’s electricity supply and is the province’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The provincial government has established goals for 2030 to completely phase out coal-fired electricity generation, and for electricity supply to be 80% from renewable energy resources such as hydro, wind and solar.
- Nova Scotia’s Budget 2023–24 includes new funding to move forward on actions under Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Growth, including: further efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move from coal to renewable energy and green hydrogen; research in battery technology; and other energy efficiency, clean energy and electric vehicle charging projects.
- The new BESS contracts and procurements being pursued by the province add to a long list of regionally-significant electricity infrastructure planning and development initiatives wind power sector; and underway in the province, including a burgeoning offshorewind power sector; greenhydrogen and clean fuels production facilities; and the “Atlantic Loop” transmission project to increase hydro-electricity imports.
- Grid-scale BESS have experienced significant cost declines and performance improvements in recent years due to technological innovation and manufacturing scale. Not only can BESS balance supply with demand by storing electricity when it is generated for when it is needed, BESS can rapidly provide an array of services such as “frequency regulation” that are needed for the safe and reliable operation of the power system. Such services increase in value as conventional fossil fuel powered generation is replaced by variable renewable energy resources such as wind and solar.
- A 2022 report commissioned by Energy Storage Canada, Energy Storage: A Key Pathway to Net Zero in Canada, found that energy storage will play a critical role in Canada’s path to net zero. The report identified the need for a minimum of 8 to 12 GW of installed capacity for Canada to reach its 2035 goal of a net zero electricity grid. While the recent milestones (listed below) position energy storage for potential growth, national installed capacity is less than a gigawatt, which leaves a substantial gap to close.
- Major recent milestones for BESS project development in Canada include: a competitive procurement for 2,500MW in Ontario; the capacity of projects in the queue to connect in Alberta exceeding 2,500 MW; the 250 MW Oneida Energy Storage project moving toward commercial operation in Ontario; and NB Power soliciting proposals for 50 MW of energy storage projects in New Brunswick. In addition to BESS projects, there are also many Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) technology-based projects advancing in Canada, such as compressedair, pumped hydro and other non-lithium ion battery chemistries.
Energy Storage Canada | www.energystoragecanada.org