Hydro-Québec launches grid-scale energy storage business

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Hydro-Québec has launched a business unit to design, sell and operate energy storage systems based on lithium iron phosphate battery technology.

The business unit, EVLO Energy Storage Inc., signed a memorandum of understanding with Innergex énergie renouvelable inc. to participate in a 9 MWh storage system in the transmission system operated by France’s national transmission provider, RTE.  The project will provide grid stability and frequency balancing services. The Tonnerre project is slated for commissioning in 2021, and is Innergex’s first standalone battery project.

Hydro-Québec said its storage systems are intended mainly for power producers, transmission providers and distributors, as well as medium- and large-scale commercial and industrial energy storage. The systems include power control and energy management software.

According to Hydro-Québec, the company has more than 40 years of R&D experience on battery materials and holds more than 800 patents in the field. Its storage systems have been installed at a Hydro-Québec substation for peak shaving at a substation and also in an off-grid system in northern Québec.

The technology is being used in a microgrid for the Canadian city of Lac-Mégantic, whose downtown was largely destroyed in a July 2013 rail disaster. The microgrid is intended to increase electrical supply resiliency and provide a source of renewable power for the downtown area. The project includes 800 kW of solar pv capacity and 700 kWh of storage. The microgrid will serve 40 buildings in the city’s core and offer electric vehicle charging.

Hydro-Québec said the molecular structure of their batteries provide protection against thermal runaway and contain no cobalt or rare earth elements. The utility generates, transmits and distributes electricity and is Canada’s largest electricity producer. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government.

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