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TD Bank Subsidiary Launches Canada’s Biggest Grid Storage Project in Alberta

A Toronto-Dominion Bank subsidiary is planning a 60-megawatt battery storage project, Canada’s biggest to date, using arrays of Tesla batteries to store electricity and help balance and stabilize the Alberta power grid as it adds more renewable power.

The project, which will see WCSB Power Holdings buy three sets of lithium-ion Megapacks from the California automaker, will be worth tens of millions of dollars, the Globe and Mail reports.

“The development, which it calls eReserve, follows other recent energy storage projects in the province as it increases energy generation from wind and other renewables,” the paper states. “Battery technology is seen as the linchpin that allows grids to gain more green electricity, which fluctuates with things such as varying wind speed and sunlight. Alberta’s major power generators, meanwhile, are in the midst of shifting away from coal-fired power, which puts more emphasis on renewables.”

WCSB’s parent company, TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund, has holdings in Canada, the United States, and Europe, 49% of them in renewable energy, the Globe writes.

“We are an active investor in green energy, sustainable energy, and that’s extremely important for us,” said Jeff Mouland, Greystone’s managing director and head of infrastructure. “So when we have an opportunity to go into a market and provide a service to that market with the concept of a green angle, we will do that.”

TD’s project plan involves three 20-megawatt battery installations, “each with a footprint about the size of a hockey rink,” the Globe says. The first of three, now under construction in Rycroft in northern Alberta, is to go into operation in December. The other two, in Buffalo Creek and Grande Prairie, are expected to connect to the grid by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is developing a roadmap to add more battery technology to the provincial grid. “AESO sees its benefits in allowing more renewables, deferring costs of long-distance transmission lines, and adding power to the grid quickly when needed,” the Globe writes, citing spokesperson Mike Deising. “The agency is working with the industry to come up with rules and regulations that fit the storage technology.”