TransAlta to Use Tesla Batteries in Alberta Storage Project

TransAlta Corp. will use Tesla Motors Inc. batteries in a project in Alberta to accelerate energy storage as the Canadian province ramps up deployment of renewable sources.

The Calgary-based electricity generator plans to install five Tesla batteries the size of refrigerators in a commercial building such as a grocery store or apartment block, it said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The project includes a C$250,000 ($200,000) grant from the province and funding from the company, said Dan Chapman, TransAlta’s lead engineer for technology.

“Energy storage has some huge opportunities in Alberta and elsewhere to enable renewable energies to connect to the electrical system,” he said in an interview.

Alberta’s government has promised to phase out coal-powered electricity generation, which accounts for almost half of the installed capacity in the province. Alberta has some of Canada’s strongest wind and solar resources and the government is looking at ways to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy.

Electricity storage will become increasingly important to provide energy available when renewable sources aren’t generating, said Chapman. Other storage options include pumped hydropower and compressed air storage.

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