Published on January 23rd, 2016 | by Glenn Meyers


Storage News: Leclanché Will Supply Ontario One Of World’s Largest Energy Storage Systems

January 23rd, 2016 by  

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected by Hecate Canada Storage II, LLP, an emerging Canadian Project Development and Electrical Systems Integrator, to deliver a 13 MW/53 MWh energy storage system. The system will stand as one of the largest grid ancillary storage services projects in North America.

According to Solar ServerLeclanché will provide all battery storage systems for the contracted facilities to be built near Toronto. In this project, Leclanché will team with Deltro Energy Inc.

Deltro gridstorage

When the project goes online in this year’s fourth quarter, Deltro will operate all of the facilities using an energy management system provided by Greensmith Energy. As part of the 53 MWh project, Greensmith will supply its GEMS5 software technology, a leading platform used to deliver 6 grid-scale systems in 2015 on both sides of the meter.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, IESO, awarded the contracts through a competitive solicitation process in 2014 as part of its Energy Storage Procurement Phase 1 project.

IESO plans to use the energy storage systems to meet its needs for fast-reacting ancillary services. The principal service provided under these contracts is voltage control and reactive power support, an application that’s becoming increasingly important for Ontario and other regions with significant amounts of intermittent wind and solar power now on the high-voltage transmission networks.

Leclanche cell_structure5“After an intense round of competitive bidding among many of the world’s largest energy storage providers, we have decided to team up with Leclanché for this project because of their high quality battery storage products, very professional approach and ability to provide thoughtful solutions for the complete design and construction of a full battery power plant,” said David Del Mastro, Deltro CEO.

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché said he hopes to start the construction in spring 2016 and start operation by the end of the year.

Images: Emission-free grid stability via Deltro; battery graphic via Leclanche’

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

  • bill_christian

    Hard to believe that batteries can ever compete with pumped hydro. The Bear Swamp facility (Massachusetts) is 600 mW (this is 13) for 6 hours (3600 mWh). Life expectancy virtually forever (been running since 1984). There are much bigger ones in use. 0 to full output in 3 minutes. High efficiency. But you need an ideal location: high and low bodies of water not too far apart.

    • bink

      exactly geography matters. you dont need all that storage centralized better if distributed site specific to get dual benefit of T&D asset deferement

    • Ronald Brakels

      Under the right circumstances batteries in homes and businesses can have a better return than pumped storage. We might be at that point in Australia. For some people in Australia in the right circumstances it looks like home energy storage may pay for itself now, although it is still kind of iffy. But as costs come down it seems likely to go from iffy to for sure.

      We are putting some battery energy storage on the grid here for the purpose of avoiding the need to build new transmission to meet evening demand. (It is cheaper option than trying to build a small local pumped storage facility.) But as costs come down storage is likely to go into homes and businesses rather than be placed on the grid.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We’ve got more than enough sites. We’ve got ~80,000 existing dams and use ~2,500 for electricity production. At least 10% of the remaining should have adequate head and be close enough to transmission to use.

      There’s an abandoned rock quarry outside of Chicago being converted to PuHS. There are around 1,000 old quarries on federal lands alone. Add in open pit mine sites. Some subsurface mines would probably be usable.

      • ROBwithaB
        Story in the local Du Page newspaper on the Elmhurst quarry.

      • ROBwithaB

        As far as I can work out, the Elmhurst Quarry is still being used mostly for flood control. Haven’t found anything yet to indicate that they’re actually going ahead with the conversion to pumped hydro storage.
        I’d be very interested to see the project proceed.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Dang. I thought I had read that they were past the study phase and doing design.

      • Matt

        Market structure (pricing) is what is likely holding many of those back. Can you make a good return on setting it up. Another example of why economist say Carbon fee/dividend system is best way to get to decarbonize the economy.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I think need is what is holding PuHS back. IIRC we’re underusing the PuHS we have now. Replacing a large amount of coal with NG should have given us a much more flexible grid with more ability to dial supply up and down and less “can’t turn off easily” supply to store.

    • Matt

      You are correct for big bang pumped hydro wins!
      But there are area where batteries or flywheels can when.
      – Frequency req/smoothing (very small time frames)
      – Voltage smoothing again at smaller time frames. When that Bear goes from full charging to full discharging in 6 mins there is some smoothing needed during that time frame.
      – Peak shaving (not many Biz have room for pumped hydro in there building).
      – distribution network congestion. By placing storage around the distribution grid you can do “peak shaving” and prevent overload portion of the network.
      – etc, you get the point

      • neroden

        Yep. We’re going to see (fairly small) battery banks at every substation and every major solar or wind farm and probably every fossil fuel power plant. Smooths out the frequencies, removes very short term (<1 minute) peaks, and provides instant response, much faster than fossil plants can ramp up and down.

    • Nick Rouse

      3 minutes to full power? That’s slow compared to some systems. Spun up in air and synchronised, Dinorwic in Wales can go from 0 to 1.7GW in 12 seconds

  • Nick Rouse

    The headline is misleading. It will be the biggest battery based system but it will be minute compared with many pumped hydro storage systems. Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Warm Springs, Virginia is 3GW/31GWh, over 200 times the power and 500 times the energy. There are over 50 schemes around the world over 1GW.

    • bink

      wow dude those arent batteries so how is it misleading?

      • ROBwithaB

        The headline said nothing about batteries (unless it’s been changed at some point?)
        The headline trumpets:

        “…One Of World’s Largest Energy Storage Systems…”

        Pumped Hydro, by any definition, must surely qualify as “Energy Storage”.
        So Nick is perfectly correct in his criticism. Yes?

        • bink

          point taken

  • Matt

    Three cheers, someone reported the real size of a battery storage “13 MW/53 MWh” yes both numbers are really need to understand the system.

    • Zorba

      Was just thinking the same thing :). Always find it frustrating when half of the picture is missing… not to mention a few articles I’ve seen where ‘MW’ is used when they clearly mean ‘MWh’.

      Anyway, it’s good to see systems like this becoming slightly more commonplace.

    • Ross

      You could also add max cycles to the list.

  • Dominic

    53 MWh! Wow 🙂

    • Aku Ankka

      Enough to smooth out production of a single small wind park, or standard solar (10MW peak, summer time daily production comes to about that much) for diurnal cycle. But it’s a start.

      • Dominic

        Grid-scale batts aren’t really about covering when renewable production drops out (eg. PV at night as you point out). Batts are nowhere near price-competitive with pumped hydro or conventional in this regard. They are excellent however at providing fast-reaction frequency regulation and very short term balancing power – at the (milli)second level (something no gas peaker plant could ever provide) smoothing out grid frequency and reducing stress on the grid (eg in response to sudden demand fluctuation or a cloud passing over a very large PV array). Many similar projects come in at around 5-10 MWh – and thus normally with a C-rate closer to 1. However, having up to 53 MWh in the tank means proportionally more conventional baseload can be reduced as the batts can provide the short term balancing power while conventional capacity / hydro etc ramps to cover the 15-minute blocks. Unless the balancing / pricing system in Canada is massively different – I’m not personally familiar with it.

        • Aku Ankka

          True, I am not questioning the need or benefits of short-term frequency regulation. It’s just that as others have pointed out, the ratio of energy vs power storage would suggest something more than simply this — it is 4th at peak power after all. And in that context, amount could be sizable just for a local area, not for wider.

          Fully agree wrt pumped hydro, cost. But besides that, there aren’t that many affordable alternatives, and many seem to assume that batteries will indeed be used to solve day/night, or low-winds-for-a-day scenarios. I am sceptical due to prices, but then again there’s not wealth of economical choices…

          • Dominic

            Yes the ratio is high. My guess is that having a low MW/MWh ratio is perhaps less of an indication of longer-term storage and more that it reduces the number of cycles the batts make. Perhaps someone in the know could enlighten?

            Younicos’ PR people are fond of proclaiming that each storage MW can replace 10 times the “must-run” conventional generation capacity for frequency regulation. But I guess that only works in systems with a lot of renewable in the mix.

          • bink

            MW is the load so has nothing to do with increasing or reducing cycles. the amount of available energy is the determinant of how long the battery operates.

            battery storage is better suited for frequency regulation. it is a power application and batteries can pack a lot of power with quicker response therefore conserving energy that a conventional power plant would otherwise have to produce or waste because it is ramping.

            batteries ramp 100mw per minute whereas power plant is 10-20 mw per minute.

            there is a service called fast response that replaces or defers frequency regulation (a fossil fuel power plant product)

            The PJM is a good example. they offer two signals for frequency regulation called Reg A- slower response resources (mostly fossil fuel power plants) and Reg D for fast response (specifically created due to battery and flywheel technology) that gets paid a premium.

          • bink

            batteries ramp 1000 mw per min

    • bink

      whats the wow for its a 4hr battery for frequency regulation. you need to be asking why is that? i can tell you why but we will see if you can answer yourself. frequency and other ancillary services don’t require 4hrs of battery storage which would make this installation very expensive

  • vensonata

    Lithium Titanate Oxide is the chemistry Leclanche is using. Lifecycles….15-20,000! to 80% remaining capacity. High charge and discharge rate. That is 54 years at one cycle per day. Probably multiple daily cycles 13.5 years at 4 full cycles per day. Very, very impressive. Cost is not mentioned.

    • eveee

      Yes, titanate is really high cycle life and indestructibility. It has low energy density, but that doesn’t matter for stationary storage.

    • bink

      very very expensive

      • Bob_Wallace

        Why are they very, very expensive?

        • bink

          2015 lithium supplier press release of Li Titanium system prices were $2,000 kWh ±20%, exclusive of (35% of capex) install costs. Roughly $3,600 per kWh w/install.

          • vensonata

            At 20,000 cycles, if you are correct at $2000 kwh, it is still about 10 cents kwh. I have no idea about these prices on the scale that the Ontario battery is using, I suspect it could be much cheaper when purchasing 53 MWh.

          • Nolan Thiessen

            “Energy/consumer-price: 0.5 Wh/dollar”
            If I converted it correctly that is indeed $2000/kwh

          • bink

            that is utility scale pricing. And stop believing everything you read. these batteries have not been well validated by 3rd party. they swell and they gas. they do not have years of field tests in the real world. nor are they to be dod down to 0.also you somehow left out the install price. I dont know how you made the leap you did when the all in price on lithium would come in at around $,1000 kWh for the same application. these batteries have major issues

          • bink

            you are assuming twice a day cycle and 100% capacity utilization. that is just not going to happen. the first charge this battery takes results in a 10% capacity degradation. the SOC range is 70-80% not 100%. Also what alot of people missed is why do you need a 4hr battery for regulation services? that alone will increase the project cost. obviously something is amiss due to the lower voltage and energy. didnt GM ditch one of these vendors because it failed to live up to performance claims. laboratory cycling is significantly different than field applications cycling for several years down to 100% dod, several VRB’s have demonstrated such longevity in the field with over 12,000, 15,000, 25,000 cycles and still going

          • eveee

            = 7.07c/kwhr

            $75e6/53MWhr/20,000 cycles

            Check me.

            cancel the millions you get

            75/53/20,000 = 7.07e-5 $/W/cycle

            multiply by 1000W/kW

            you get 7.07e-2 $/kw/cycle

            Not including time cost of money, O and M, etc.

      • Brett

        [citation needed]

    • eveee
      • bink

        I went t the link you provided and read the article. i also found another article w/ more detail. The Bloomberg article contains an error it stated 53 MW of capacity when it should have stated 53 MWh’s. I also determined that the purchase amount was for the DC (cell) system which would include the battery controller (management of state of charge). The energy management software, inverter and balance of systems apart from the install are not included.

        So even at $50 MM USD the DC system is roughly $1,000 dollars per kWh. But no one seems to have a solid number here so lets assume it will be above the 50 million dollar mark and split the difference of $25 million ($50-75 million). that would be around $62 million dollars for the DC system.

        Add in the software, inverter and balance of systems and you are approaching north towards the $2,000 dollar per kWh cost. I am darn sure that Leclanche’ discounted the heck out of this sale to stay viable.

        I can tell you for a fact that current lithium battery system installed prices would come in way under the DC price of this system. of course their are other factors in play here such as their claims of longevity.

        But you could have swapped batteries and still come out ahead so it probably had to do with less complexity in battery operating constraints due to lower degradation curve than lithium, something I have been preaching to the choir about but all of a sudden everyone understands.

        For sure this is a better product than lithium but some of the same issues. There is still degradation and no you cannot do 100% dod for 20,000 cycles this is from the vendors own information.
        They are not very the titanate oxide is not very electrically conductive it heaves and gasses this is a safety concern. the solution to the heaving and gassing is to coat the material which lowers its potential energy.

        Its great that it can fast charge but in a grid, commercial or industrial situation that advantage is almost mute.

        It is not unlimited cycling and it is still constrained to a single application so it too wont realize revenue or benefits from power and energy application services.

        So VRB is still superior on most fronts:

        1) unlimited cycling which has been demonstrated over and over again in the field.
        2) Way better pricing. Current VRB grid scale INSTALLED pricing is $600-850 per kWh
        3) VRB can fluidly perform simultaneous power and energy services in a single install. capturing both revenue streams as well as T&D deferment if properly sited.
        4) VRB charge and discharge the same current simultaneously at differing voltage levels in that regard it is a DC-DC transformer which acts as its own multi point power tracker (MPPT) by tapping the cells in the power stack.
        5) VRB can be coupled directly to PV no, inverter, no optimizer, no DC-DC converter. Its, its own MPPT and DC-Dc transformer. this reduces project costs for solar + storage
        6) New VRB advancements (very soon to be deployed) will allow for higher currents theerfore quicker charge capabilities, higher energy density and significant power density increases which will exceed both lithium and lithium titanate battery chemistry in addition to inefficiencies.
        7) New VRB technology advances will result in smaller more compact footprint. Home solution is a possibility.

        • bink

          increased efficiency

        • eveee

          From the curves cited, and from both Altairnano and Leclanche, the rating is 15,000 cycles at 100% DoD. Altairnano demonstrated their unit to PJM years ago and it was accepted. These units are in the field. They are good for 80C, so they are ideal for frequency, voltage, and vars. They won’t need 100% DoD for smoothing. They could be sized with less energy capacity for just the small variations. The 80C rating gives them enormous power for their size. No reason they couldn’t do some load shifting, but that might not be their best app.
          Flow is better for load shift or long term load shift and other apps. Glad to see their prices are coming down and multiple vendors are in the market.
          Any news on that front recently? Projects that you can tell us about?

          • bink

            you dont seem to understand/ those projects where demo. I have seen the research material and the researchers stste that there is very little data provided by the vendors to verify claims that are not readily demonstrated. The vendors own materials dont cite 20,000 cycles at 100%.

            the 80C does nothing but allow a quicker charge, nothing more.grid operators prefer a slower charge so as to not disrupt the grid balance.

            Your assumption about load shifting is erroneous. the energy and power are still coupled. nothing changed there. so you are not going to perform frequency regulation and load shift for 4 hrs. it has nothing to do with capacity it has to do with the coupling. in order to separate the two in that format the electrode thickness is the determinant.

            by design the electrode determines a power battery from an energy battery, the chemistry only provides the potential for either. but you dont retain both attributes once the electrode size is determined.

            keep in mind ancillary services dont require 4 hrs of storage so something is amiss here and the low energy has a lot to do with it.

            plus like i said, they are very expensive.

            VRB has no degradation but more importantly unlimited cycling based on calendar life big difference.

            did i say these things have a histrory of exploding. hmmmmm maybe that is why they have no traction in the market

          • bink

            the reason for the 4hrs is although accessing more of the capacity than lithium ion. the energy density is so low in comparison that they still needed twice the capacity to get 2hrs of usable energy

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