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Posted: October 14, 2013

BC Hydro completes first of its kind project in Canada

BC Hydro customers living in Field will benefit from increased power reliability, thanks to the completion of a state-of-the-art clean energy storage source.

The new one-megawatt battery bank will store clean energy produced by BC Hydro that can be used to help meet the area’s electricity needs for up to seven hours in the event of a power outage, and reduce system load during peak demand periods.

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addresses a small crowd in Field last week.
Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addresses a small crowd in Field last week.

The Battery Energy Storage project – a first of its kind in Canada – took two years to complete and is located within the boundaries of Yoho National Park. The $13 million project was made possible thanks to $6.5 million in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy Fund.

This facility will help provide a reliable supply of energy to the community of Field. Ultimately this will reduce the costs and environmental impact when compared with other options such as diesel generated power.

The project is a critical step in the potential integration of energy storage into the electricity grid. BC Hydro and others will gain extensive knowledge that can be applied to the integration of storage from intermittent and renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power.

“This is good news for families and businesses in the Field area who can now count on clean, reliable power for their homes and businesses this winter and for many years to come. British Columbia has always been a clean energy leader and this unique project, the first of its kind in Canada, uses innovative storage technology systems to solve real power issues,” stated Bill Bennett, Kootenay East MLA and Minister of Energy and Mines.

“Our government is supporting innovative projects across the country and positioning Canada at the forefront of clean energy technology. Projects like this not only support high quality jobs but also demonstrate how we can use renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” added David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

Greg Reimer, executive vice-president of Transmission and Distribution, BC Hydro pointed out, “The completion of this project means people living in Field now have a clean source of reliable back-up power. It will also give us an opportunity to share our knowledge with other utilities in the country who face the same challenges. I would like to recognize Parks Canada for their generosity in providing the space for this new unit, as well as their cooperation and support throughout the project.”

“Parks Canada is extremely pleased that this project will both improve the quality of life for residents in Field, and showcase leadership in environmental innovation at the highest level in Yoho National Park.  We were proud to work with such excellent partners in the successful delivery of this important project,” said Melanie Kwong, Parks Canada Superintendent

Work on the battery storage project began in the summer of 2011 and was completed in early 2013.

The battery bank unit stands five metres in height, 11 metres in length and weighs more than 90 tonnes.

The original project involved installing a similar one-megawatt battery in Golden. This unit was no longer needed after a local substation upgrade was finished in 2011 and BC Hydro’s Columbia Valley Transmission line was completed in the fall 2012.

The battery bank was supplied by NGK Insulators Limited of Japan, and the system was engineered and installed by S&C Electric Company, a global leader in renewable energy integration.


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