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Energy storage technology research projects get $1.5M funding


Edmonton, AB – A total of $1.5 million in funding is being provided to six new energy storage projects in Alberta that are intended to help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. The funding is being provided by Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES).

The AI-EES says it received over 50 proposals and its advisors chose the technologies with the greatest potential for implementation to Alberta’s power grid. Applications were accepted from around the globe but to be considered, projects had to demonstrate that the technology was applicable and well-suited for grid-scale energy storage on Alberta’s electric system. Proposed projects could be at any stage of development from initial proofofconcept to deployment in Alberta.

“Clean power generation is a critical challenge for Alberta. Our goal is to have 20 per cent electricity generation from renewable energy in 2030,” said Dr. Mark Summers, director of renewable energy for AI-EES. “These energy storage projects will be instrumental in harnessing Alberta’s renewable resources and integrating them onto the electricity grid affordably and efficiently.”

Funding of $250,000 each is being awarded to following projects:

  • Unify Energy: Liverpool Wind and Regenerative Air Energy Storage Project. The project will bridge the gap between the Nova Scotia company and the Alberta energy industry.
  • TransAlta Emerging Technologies: TransAlta Commercial-Scale Battery Pilot Project. The project integrates Tesla battery technology at a commercial business in Alberta. The pilot project will demonstrate how energy storage can reduce the cost of electricity for commercial customers.
  • ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc.: Zinc-Air Fuel Cell for Renewable Energy Storage. The project will focus on the development of a rechargeable zinc air fuel cell that combines the advantages of a rechargeable battery with the economy and capacity of a fuel cell.
  • University of Calgary: Redox Flow Battery Innovation for Large Scale Electrical Energy Storage. The project is focusing on new chemistries of large-scale liquid batteries that will have the potential to be cost competitive with technologies like hydroelectric and compressed air storage but will benefit from the flexibility of battery technologies.
  • Ambri: Project Energy Bank. The project will demonstrate the capabilities of Ambri’s Liquid Metal Battery energy storage solution to meet the requirements of wind integration within the Alberta energy market.
  • Eguana Technologies: Distributed Lithium-Ion Storage for Demand Charge Reduction. The project will support development of a new advanced distributed storage product to be installed and demonstrated at a commercial building in the province. The goal is to help smooth the renewable power output to the electrical system and to shave peak load, potentially reducing strain on the electrical system and demand charges on the building’s utility bills.

“Alberta has strong wind and solar energy resources. Developing these resources offers a great opportunity to reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions and provide long-term sustainable energy,” said Dr. Summers.

Solar and wind energy are intermittent by nature, and some of the most promising resources in Alberta are largely concentrated in certain regions of the province. According to Dr. Summers, “this creates challenges for increasing the deployment of renewable energy to augment fossil fuel consumption in a significant way. Investing in new technologies will lead to broader use of renewable energy within Alberta’s interconnected electric system.”