Cutting the Ribbon on the Largest Battery Energy Storage System in New Brunswick

March 26, 2024

Representatives from Neqotkuk (also known as Tobique First Nation), Saint John Energy, and Natural Forces joined together for the inauguration of a large battery energy storage system, which is part of the Burchill Wind Project in Saint John, New Brunswick. Originally announced in the spring of 2022, the Burchill Wind Project partnership is a $95 million Indigenous-led project, which received nearly $50 million in funding from Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program to help deploy the project’s 10 wind turbine generators.  

The new battery energy storage system is the largest of its kind in New Brunswick and will help store the intermittent electricity created by Burchill’s 10 wind turbine generators, which generate up to 42 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity to the Saint John Energy grid—even when the wind isn’t blowing. It also helps store extra electricity when the demand is low and helps address peak energy demands during the coldest winter months. The battery system may also help Saint John Energy provide power to customers during power outages due to storm events.

“One of our traditional values as a nation is to take care of the environment. Green energy projects are going to start taking over, and they’re going to dominate, and that’s the way of the future.”

Chief Ross Perley, Tobique First Nation

The project will support a greener grid in New Brunswick and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting an equitable transition to an electrified economy. Federal funding for the project is provided by Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program. This program is designed to help replace fossil-fuel-generated electricity with renewable energy, battery storage, and grid modernization solutions. Budget 2023 increased the total Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program budget to $4.5 billion, in order to support critical regional priorities, Indigenous-led projects, and add transmission projects to the program’s eligibility. This program is actively supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy by 2050.

“This energy storage project is an important step in our work on climate action and our determination to be a national utility leader in the transition to net zero. To fight climate change, we all need to come together to find solutions. We’re grateful to the Government of Canada and our partners for making this project a reality.”

Ryan Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint John Energy

Quick facts

  • The battery project is the largest battery in New Brunswick. It consists of a 5.8 megawatt / 11.6 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery that can deliver 5.8 megawatts of energy to the Saint John Energy grid for a two-hour period on a full charge.
  • Funding comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program, which will provide $4.5 billion until 2035 for smart renewable energy and electrical grid modernization projects. This program will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling increased renewable energy capacity that will provide essential grid services while supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy by 2050, as well as Canada’s commitment to achieve a 100 percent net-zero emitting electricity system.
  • In February 2024, the Government of Canada provided an update on the design options being considered for the final Clean Electricity Regulations. These options address the feedback received during the last six months of extensive consultations with provincial and territorial governments, including New Brunswick, the Canada Electricity Advisory Council, Indigenous representatives, electricity providers, industry, environmental organizations, and interested Canadians.


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