Canada-based redox flow battery manufacturer Invinity Energy Systems and Canadian renewable energy developer Elemental Energy have announced the construction of a 21 MW solar plant coupled to 8.4 MWh of vanadium redox flow battery capacity at Chappice Lake, near Medicine Hat in Cypress County, in Canada's Alberta province.
“The solar array will be coupled directly with the vanadium flow battery, improving plant efficiency, operating flexibility and costs,” Invinity said in a statement. “Compared with more common lithium-ion batteries, Invinity’s VFBs are a safer form of longer-duration, utility-grade energy storage, offering excellent operational longevity in ultra-heavy duty use while being fully recyclable at end of life.”
The project is being backed by the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), which is a Canadian non profit organization that invests in environmental and cleantech companies.
“Alberta has a long history of leadership in energy; the fact that this shovel-ready project will expand that leadership in new directions while creating great new jobs is a testament to how Alberta caacln innovate and build,” said Invinity CCO Matt Harper. “Clean energy on demand is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity; in delivering solar and storage together at Chappice Lake, we will prove that solar generation plus Invinity’s utility-grade vanadium flow batteries can make Alberta a powerhouse for the North American grid.”
Vanadium flow batteries offer heavy-duty energy storage and are designed for use in high-utilization applications, such as industrial-scale solar PV generation for distributed, low-emissions energy projects. Energy is stored in a non-flammable, liquid electrolyte and the batteries do not degrade with cycling like lithium-ion options and they can be scaled and located with greater flexibility than pumped hydro energy storage.
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21 MW generation and only 8 MWh of storage? That sounds very strange. Less than 23 minutes of backup isn’t very useful, unless the purpose is FCAS rather than storage.
Long power drops happen so seldom that longer duration backup does not pay back larger battery costs. Grid stabilizing and peak shaving capabilities are much more common.
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