Unlocking Ontario’s Sustainable Energy Future with Long Duration Energy Storage

February 7, 2024

Canada’s national trade association for energy storage, Energy Storage Canada (ESC), released a foundational report on the benefits of Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) in Ontario. The report, conducted by Dunsky Advisors, Long Duration Storage Opportunity Assessment: A Critical Component in Growing Ontario’s Clean Energy Economy, illustrates the substantial potential of LDES to contribute to the realization of the province’s economic growth and energy transition objectives. 

The report identifies a minimum of 6 gigawatts (GW) of +10-hour duration energy storage starting in 2032, projecting it could achieve savings between $11 billion to $20 billion, compared to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) baseline Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D) scenario released last year.

These findings follow recent developments in the province, including last year’s record-setting procurement by the IESO of 880 MW of energy storage capacity and this month’s Directive from Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, for the IESO to advance work on the Meaford and Marmora pumped hydro storage projects and to determine the need for additional LDES resources.

“As a testament to the provincial government’s initiative on market reform, Ontario is already recognized as a national and global leader in energy storage,” states Justin Rangooni, Executive Director of ESC. “The IESO needs to capitalize on that momentum and continue future-proofing our energy system by making a clear commitment to procuring cost-saving Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) resources. We have the opportunity to establish LDES as a Made-In-Ontario solution and to ensure the province remains at the forefront of global clean tech investment and innovation.”

With industrial expansion and net zero driving steady growth for the province’s electricity demand through 2050, the priority is on decarbonizing existing supply and scaling up non-emitting generation to meet the projected need for 2 to 3 times our current supply levels within thirty years. As a group of technologies, LDES – which can store and discharge energy over periods of +10 hours – will play a critical role by integrating intermittent renewables, hydroelectric and baseload nuclear while providing a source of reliable capacity during low-generation, high-demand periods. 

Dunsky’s findings establish the previously unquantified potential of LDES to insure against potential development risks and vulnerabilities in the IESO’s P2D scenarios while also optimising the performance of Small Modular Reactors (SMR), new grid-scale nuclear, blue and green hydrogen assets, and other emerging resources. The electricity grid challenges experienced by Western Canada during recent extreme cold weather events further emphasize the growing need for firm capacity resources to deliver system reliability. 

To allow sufficient headway for the uniquely long lead times of LDES development, the report encourages IESO to consider making a commitment to a competitive LDES procurement by 2024 and to launch a competitive process in 2025. 

In response to ESC’s report, Julia Souder, chief executive officer of the LDES Council, a global non-profit advancing research and deployment for long duration storage, says, “Accelerating the development and deployment of long duration energy storage offers the best pathway to full decarbonization for Ontario, Canada, and the world. The data is clear. Long duration energy storage will save the world economy $540 billion and transform into a trillion-dollar industry by 2040. Canada now has an opportunity to take a leadership position in this emerging energy solution, ensuring reliable renewable energy for its citizens, and a place in the growing global market for a key component of the energy transition.”

With nearly 100 members, Energy Storage Canada (ESC) is Canada’s only national trade association dedicated solely to the growth & market development of energy storage as part of Canada’s energy transition through policy advocacy, education, collaboration, and research. ESC is technology-agnostic and not-for-profit, representing the full value chain for energy storage from end-to-end.

SOURCE Energy Storage Canada

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