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Friday, September 22, 2023

Battery energy storage-only facility proposed in Selwyn Township


A battery energy storage-only facility is in the early stages of development in Selwyn Township located off Lily Lake Rd.

There was a public meeting held on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Peterborough Curling Club (Stonehouse Hall) on Lansdowne Street.

The Battery Energy Storage facility is being developed by Plus Power, an American owned operation based out of Houston, Texas with offices in San Francisco and across the US.

The storage site in Selwyn, dubbed the Armour Hill Energy Storage is expected to be operational by 2027.

The location for the public meeting was chosen, according to Selwyn Township Clerk, Angela Chittick, because that was the closest meeting room location for people impacted by this site.

Mayor Sherry Senis told the Herald that after the public meeting, which she attended, the applicant will give a presentation to Township Council. If council gives support for the project it adds points to their application when they apply to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

Senis said “Our Council will be interested in knowing more about this proposal as it moves along in the process.”

According to Plus Powers’ website, Armour Hill is a ground breaking new lithium-ion battery energy storage facility that will make Ontario’s grid cleaner and more reliable by reducing the need and cost associated with using gas-fired power plants during times of peak demand and by optimizing the use of renewable energy resources.

According to National Grid, battery storage technologies are essential to speeding up the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy. Battery storage systems will play an increasingly pivotal role between green energy supplies and responding to electricity demands. Battery storage, or battery energy storage systems (BESS), are devices that enable energy from renewables, like solar and wind, to be stored and then released when the power is needed most.

The site in Selwyn is slated to be on 10 acres that is interconnected with critical transmission infrastructure and adjacent to Hydo One’s Dobbin Transformer Substation.

Their website also said that they chose the location after their team considered a variety of siting criteria including, but not limited to, proximity to critical utility infrastructure, land use, topography, and avoidance of sensitive environmental features. The Armour Hill facility location met the optimal criteria across all of these categories.

The site will have a lifespan of about 20 years with the originally batteries installed expected to last about 15 years.

The website said that as the original system naturally degrades, Armour Hill will be augmented with supplemental battery storage units in the future. At the end of the project’s operating life, the facility will remove the battery system and restore the land to pre-existing conditions. Because the battery components contain valuable minerals, the system will be shipped away for recycling and salvage value.

According to the company, the Armour Hill facility will utilize best-in-class lithium-ion cells based on battery chemistries similar to those used in cell phones, computers, and electric vehicles, although the battery and system will be held to the National Fire Protection Association 855 national standard and other related grid infrastructure codes and standards. In addition, the system will utilize a variety of thermal management systems as well as remote monitoring strategies in order to maintain system stability. The local Fire Departments will be fully engaged in design discussions through the process of creating a dedicated Emergency Response Plan for the project, and the Plus Power team will ensure there is significant collaboration and training with first responders in order to guarantee proper techniques are used in the unlikely event of an emergency.

The public meeting was held last Tuesday as a way to provide residents with information on the Armour Hill Energy Storage project and introduce the uses and benefits of battery energy storage, share why they chose the site location, and introduce the Plus Power team.

For more information on the project, visit armourhillenergystorage.com or email armourhill@pluspower.com