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Leclanche 13MW / 53MWh Energy Storage System (Interview)

Leclanché, a Swiss battery manufacturer, was selected recently by Hecate Canada Storage II to deliver and install a 13 MW / 53 MWh energy storage system. When it is completed, it will be one of the largest energy storage systems in the world. Bryan Urban, who heads up Leclanché North America, answered some questions for CleanTechnica.


What is the main reason for installing the 13MW / 53MWh energy storage system?

The IESO plans to use the energy storage systems to meet its needs for fast-reacting ancillary services by storing the existing spinning reserve in Leclanché energy storage systems. 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.

What will be the main benefits when it is up and running?

It will deliver primary and secondary control, including grid stability and the ability to provide quick response to voltage and frequency fluctuations.

Can you divulge the cost of the energy storage project?

We signed a deal with the IESO valued at $50 million to $75 million.

How long will the battery systems last?

The battery systems are designed to operate for 15 years.

How much time will be required to install them?

We will begin to install the batteries in April or May, and expect to complete the project by March 2017.

How many jobs will be created by the installation?

We will be utilizing Canadian contractors for engineering, design and construction, and our focus will be more on the value that the battery storage systems will deliver.

What kind of battery chemistry is being used?

We cannot disclose.

What kind of energy management system will be utilized and what does it do?

The energy management system interfaces between the electric grid and the signals between the electric grid operator and the battery system. The battery has intelligence within called Battery Management System, which controls how the system charges and discharges including which modules charge, how much they charge, when they charge and how quickly they charge. The energy management layer takes the signals and tells the battery what to do. It also controls the inverters and the switch gears as well as other functions.

Is there anything special you do in terms of your approach when working with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)?

We are the battery energy storage system provider, which includes everything from equipment to services. This will be a very collaborative initiative with the IESO to demonstrate the value of battery energy storage systems on the grid.

Have you installed such large projects before, or is this the largest?

Leclanché has previously installed a 3.2 MWh project on Graciosa Island in the Azores. This is a similar installation.

What will be used to house the battery systems, or do they come containerized?

We are considering two options—building standalone containers, as well as building the systems in a custom enclosed facility.

Image Credit: Leclanché

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