No ducks were killed in this installation of big batteries.
There were no $50 million bets, no big press conferences, there aren’t even any dead ducks. But there is a big honking grid-size battery installation in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia, being used to store power generated by nearby Hardwood Lands wind turbines. Nova Scotia Power has installed the big system, along with ten Powerwalls in nearby homes as part of its “Intelligent Feeder Project.” Project manager Jill Searle is quoted on Nova Scotia Power:
Technology such as battery storage is making traditional utility systems smarter. This project is one of the first of its kind that we know about, and we’re excited to be leading the charge. It has great potential to positively impact the reliability of our system and help us provide power to customers when they need it most.”
Nova Scotia Power explains on their website:
Sensors on the powerline monitor and gather data about local system activity and are fed back to our control centre for analysis and planning of Nova Scotia’s future energy needs….As we add more renewable energy to the grid, batteries can provide the utility with more flexibility to reliably address peak electricity demand with stored energy. As this technology advances, we will be able to apply learnings from the pilot project to create value for our customers.
There is no information about how big the installation is, so we cannot compare it to the one in Australia, although according to Global News, it can power 300 homes. Jill Searle says “We would expect a battery like this, during a cold winter night, to perhaps last for a two-hour duration, but in the summer time when it’s a little lightly loaded, we could expect the battery to last for much longer.”
I was surprised to see this installation in Nova Scotia; they have a lot of wind, but not much solar power, and wind is far less consistent than the sun is in Australia or California, so there is no predictable duck to kill. But it still fulfils a need:
“If there’s no wind, it’ll provide energy. If there’s too much wind, it can absorb it for later use. So it allows us to have a larger component of renewable energy in our system,” David Swan, a DHS Engineering engineer who will help get the system running, said.
I will add more information about the system as it becomes available.