A wave of electricity storage projects is coming to Alberta and could be the linchpin for more renewables

DM

As the large batteries arrive, here’s what makes them great and not so great On any given day, go for a drive in southwest Alberta and expect to hear the wind whistling through your windows as it blows across the prairie. Lethbridge is one of the windiest cities in the country so it’s no wonder this region is a hotbed for the growing wind energy industry. Wayne Oliver looks after more than 400 wind turbines in the area. He’s also responsible for a new battery project that could fuel the sector’s growth even further. “It’s performed very well, it’s exceeding our expectations,” said Oliver. Also, the facility “is profitable right now.” TransAlta’s $16-million WindCharger project consists of three Tesla lithium-ion battery storage groupings, capable of holding 20 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. That’s enough power to fully supply the nearby town of Pincher Creek, with a population of 3,600, for about 90 minutes.

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