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Early success for pole-mounted energy storage pilot program

Posted on July 6, 2017

A pole-mounted energy storage system located in Toronto’s North York neighbourhood is showing positive results in the early stages of a pilot program.

Put into service in August 2016, the energy storage system is mounted to the top of an existing hydro pole. The system stores energy during off-peak hours and releases power as needed.

The project team is currently monitoring how the technology responds to real-time data. From initial results, the energy storage system has demonstrated an ability to reduce strain on the local transformer. The pilot continues to run and, if successful, it could become a standard that’s rolled out with all new installations on the over 175,000 poles across the city.

Toronto Hydro is exploring energy storage as a way to extend the lifespan of some of its equipment. This energy storage device can also act as a temporary source of backup power during outages.

“This is another example of a creative and innovative energy storage system being installed on our grid,” said Anthony Haines, president and CEO of Toronto Hydro. “We’re focused on supporting collaborative projects like this one as it contributes to an integrated electricity system better designed to handle peak demand and improve reliability for our customers.”

The project was made possible with support from Ontario’s Smart Grid Fund, which helps those on the leading edge of the smart grid industry to test their grid modernization solutions in real world settings. The unit was developed by Ryerson University and piloted by Toronto Hydro using eCAMION battery technology.

“Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Energy is pleased to have developed the world’s first pole-mounted energy storage unit in collaboration with Toronto Hydro and eCAMION,” said Bala Venkatesh, academic director for the Centre for Urban Energy and Ryerson University.” The project showcases how the use of energy storage and smart grid technologies can enhance distribution system performance and reduce asset upgrade costs.”

The pole-mounted unit is able to store the equivalent energy of approximately 2,100 smartphone batteries. This energy storage system is unique because it doesn’t have a footprint – it’s attached to existing power poles.

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