The Growth of Renewable Energy and Storage

As the development of renewable power increased dramatically, the need for energy storage is also sky rocketing.

A project manager at Northland Power, John Wright said “where renewables go, storage will follow.”

The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, and this where the need for energy storage comes in.

Power companies and utilities have been looking to compensate for that with what amount to giant batteries and smooth out delivery, storing energy in times of low demand and distributing it when demand is high.

Northland has been developing a 400-megawatt pumped storage project that takes the form of an old flooded mine, sitting on a plateau just outside of Marmora, Ont.

The roughly $900-million project in eastern Ontario pumps water up into the mine pit when there’s extra energy, and then lets it run out through a turbine when more energy is needed.

Alberta’s plan to replace coal-fired power plants with 5,000 megawatts of new renewable energy — more than all of the renewable energy currently online in Ontario — has prompted TransAlta Corp. to dust off half-century-old plans to expand its Brazeau hydroelectric project.