Canada’s largest battery energy storage facility coming to Leeds-Grenville

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The Skyview 2 Battery Energy Storage System will soon be built on a 30-acre plot north of Dobbie Road in the Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal. The property is located just minutes from North Grenville, less than 10km south of Heckston.

A battery energy storage facility is a type of a power station that stores electricity, rather than generating it. Such facilities store electricity at low-demand times, and then distribute it at times of peak demand. This adds efficiency to the province’s electrical infrastructure and reduces the need for new generating stations, since already-generated electricity can be stored and used later, reducing waste. Battery energy storage facilities have the advantage of being able to respond to sudden power demands quickly, since they can transfer from “standby” energy storage to full power output in less than one second. They can also typically supply power for several hours using stored energy.

The local project was approved earlier this month by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), and is intended to help supplement Ontario’s electrical grid. The Township of Edwardsburgh-Cardinal has welcomed the project, with Council passing a resolution to ratify their support. “We see this as a very positive thing moving forward,” said Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor, Tory Deschamps.

The Edwardsburgh-Cardinal project will be a massive 390 megawatt endeavor, with the next largest planned project in Ontario being the 250 megawatt facility being constructed by Oneida Energy Storage in southern Ontario. The local facility will therefore be the largest of its kind in Canada.

While battery energy storage facilities are great for the electrical grid, they do raise safety concerns for some people. Batteries can catch fire or explode when they fail, which is a clear safety risk when a large amount of battery storage equipment is contained to one area. However, the American Clean Power Association reports that safety issues at these facilities resulting in fires or explosions are rare. As long as proper emergency measures are considered beforehand, these facilities are therefore officially considered safe to operate.

This reassurance was not enough for residents of Elizabethtown-Kitley Township, where opposition to a similar facility recently was enough to have that project cancelled.

The Skyview 2 Battery Energy Storage System is slated to begin construction in 2026, with an intended completion some time in 2027.

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