Nova Scotia Power recently announced that the testing of industrial-grade Tesla Powerpack batteries at its Elmsdale substation is now underway. The batteries, which are part of the company’s Intelligent Feeder Project, will be partially powered by energy generated from wind turbines located in Hardwood Lands, NS.
In an announcement about the initiative, Nova Scotia Power project manager Jill Searle noted that she is optimistic about the Intelligent Feeder Project, especially since it is the first of its kind in the region.
“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,” she said.
Nova Scotia’s Hardwood Lands wind farm provides the area with clean energy, but before the installation of the Tesla Powerpacks, the energy provider had no effective way to harness the energy it generates for later use. With the battery system in place, however, energy can be stored and distributed even when the wind turbines are not generating power.
In a statement to Global News Canada, David Swan, a DHS Engineering engineer who is tasked to keep the system running, described how the Tesla Powerpacks could work even when there is no wind.
“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,” Swan said.
Power outages in Nova Scotia last an average of two hours. According to Searle, the Tesla Powerpack system, which could support around 300 homes, would be perfect to fill in the gaps in the power system.
“We would expect a battery like this, during a cold winter night, to perhaps last for a two-hour duration, but in the summertime when it’s a little lightly loaded, we could expect the battery to last for much longer,” the project manager said, according to a Global News Canada report.
Apart from the Tesla Powerpack system, ten residential homes will also be given Tesla Powerwall batteries to aid the utility provider in seeing how renewable energy can augment the province’s power needs.
The Intelligent Feeder Project was initially announced back in 2016 and is expected to run until 2019. The total cost of the initiative is $3.4 million. Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a group which supports clean energy initiatives, has contributed $625,918 to fund the project.
As we noted in a previous report, a proposal to the New York Public Service Commission has been submitted by Orange and Rockland Utilities, suggesting that Tesla’s Powerpack batteries be deployed as a means to provide backup to the region’s grid. If approved, the proposed 2 MW/4 MWh system would be part of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a comprehensive energy strategy started by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, which aims to promote and foster the adoption of clean energy in the state.