Energy storage project proposed near Brinston

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Energy storage project proposed near Brinston

SOUTH DUNDAS – Looking to add capacity to Ontario’s electricity grid, a battery energy storage project may be built near Brinston in the next couple of years.

Creekside Battery Energy Storage (BESS) is currently undergoing an Environmental Assessment to build a facility on a 15 acre property on the northwest corner of Gilmour Road and South Branch Road (north).

Will Patternson, project manager for the Creekside BESS project explained the EA is only one step towards the project breaking ground as it has not yet received a contract from the Independent Electricity System Operator for the facility.

“If we are successful, the earliest we would start construction is Spring 2025 and go online in 2026,” Patternson said. “But there are a lot of steps in-between.”

The IESO manages Ontario’s electricity supply and issued a Request for Proposal for battery energy storage projects as part of its long term plan to increase capacity on the province’s electrical grid.

Battery storage facilities will draw power from the grid during periods of excess power generation or when there is low demand for electricity, then return to the grid during times of peak use. The IESO will pay contractors both to store the electricity, and for the electricity when it is used in the grid.

The Creekside BESS project is designed to store 230 megawatts of power for four hours, the equivalent of 920 megawatt hours. That is nearly equal to the output of the R.H. Saunders Power Dam in Cornwall (1,057 MW).

The project is one of two in the area by Toronto-based renewable energy company Potentia Renewables Inc. that has submitted a proposal to the IESO RFP process. Another is proposed in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal.

Patternson said that the Gilmour Road location was proposed because of a number of factors including proximity to three high-voltage transmission lines, available land, and that the property size allows for a 500 metre set back from residences.

“Setbacks are not a legal requirement of the RFP,” he said explaining that these types of facilities have a lot of fan noise due to cooling the batteries.

“Ontario has one of the toughest sound laws at 40 decibels,” he said.

The proposed project is not linked to the nearby EDP Renewables wind turbine project that was built nearly 10 years ago in the area. However, like the EDP Renewables project, Potentia Renewables will establish a Community Benefit Fund in South Dundas as the host community for the project.

“The project fills a lot of voids in the [electrical] system,” Patternson said. “It’s like an insurance policy when electrical demand is high.”

The IESO will announce the successful bidders to its Resource Adequacy RFP in May 2024.

Potentia Renewables Inc. is hosting a public meeting on the proposed project at the South Dundas Municipal Centre  in Morrisburg on November 8 from 5-8 p.m. A formal presentation is at 6 p.m.

This article was originally written for the Morrisburg Leader.

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