Canadian Grid Operator Signs $50 Million Deal for Energy Storage

The Independent Electricity System Operator in the Canadian province of Ontario plans to install six energy storage systems to stabilize its grid.

Leclanche SA, the Swiss company providing the technology, signed a deal with the grid operator valued at $50 million to $75 million, Chief Executive Officer Anil Srivastava said Thursday in a phone interview. The combined capacity of the six systems will be 53 megawatts.

“About 3 percent to 5 percent of the total installed capacity of the world’s power is spinning reserve, in case something happens to the grid,” said Srivastava. “I think it can be entirely replaced by storage.” Spinning reserve is extra generating capacity connected to the grid but not used unless needed.

Leclanche, based in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, will begin installing the batteries in April or May and the project is expected to be completed by March 2017. The project will be financed by both debt and equity, with SERV Swiss Export Risk Insurance providing about 65 percent of the funds in a loan. Infrastructure investors in the U.S., Canada and Europe have expressed interest to finance through equity, Srivastava said.

The contract with IESO functions as a power purchase agreement for three years, with electricity distributor Toronto Hydro Corp. taking over the agreement for an additional 12 years.

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