Batteries, Energy Storage, New Projects, On-Site Power, Renewables, Solar, Wind

Saft lithium-ion battery energy storage system harnesses solar to deliver reliable power to Arctic Circle community

Caption: A li-ion battery energy storage system developed by Saft.

Industrial battery manufacturer Saft has been selected by Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to develop and install an extreme temperature Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for use as part of a hybrid micro-grid that will deliver cleaner, more reliable, and less expensive power to a community located 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Canada. “Saft’s experience developing scalable, long-life micro-grid energy storage for islands, military bases, independent facilities and large-scale utilities illustrates our continued growth and leadership in this market.”The system will be installed at the Colville Lake Power Station in June 2015 and will provide Colville Lake residents with consistent, renewable solar power and reduced diesel fuel consumption.

Colville Lake is a remote, small community of about 150 inhabitants with temperatures that can drop to -58°F in winter and reach 95°F in summer. Currently, the community experiences a high incidence of power outages. The community can only be reached by road during a six-week period in February through March, when northern ice-roads are in use. Otherwise, it is accessed only by airplane. As such, the system was completed within a strict timeframe and delivered to Edmonton, where it is awaiting the final trek across the ice-roads when they are reopened.

Saft’s innovative “Cold Temperature Package” design allows for a complete BESS system in an ISO 20-foot container that withstands extreme arctic environments down to -58°F. As part of the contract, Saft will develop and install one Intensium® Max 20M Medium Power (IM 20M) Li-ion battery container with 232 kWh of energy and a 200-kW Power Conditioning System from ABB. The turnkey BESS will serve as the heart of the hybrid micro-grid that is part of a larger Solar and Diesel upgrade to the existing power plant.

This is NTPC’s first project of this nature, and the first solar installation that has the capacity to generate about 30 percent of the community’s demand,” said Emanuel DaRosa, President and CEO of NTPC. “It was imperative to find a partner that could provide a long-term energy storage system capable of withstanding the Territories’ extreme rugged environment.”

In addition to design and installation, Saft’s advanced modelling capabilities helped NTPC determine the optimum size for their expanded solar array. To accommodate NTPC’s long-term plans, Saft’s system is also designed with a modular set-up that can be expanded to integrate wind-energy and double the battery’s energy rating in the future.

“Hybrid micro-grids for remote locations are part of an emerging market for energy storage in which utility providers of isolated communities can regulate power fluctuations and high costs due to fuel transportation,” said Jim McDowall, Business Development Manager at Saft’s Energy Storage Systems Business Unit in Jacksonville, Fla.“Saft’s experience developing scalable, long-life, micro-grid energy storage for islands, military bases, independent facilities and large-scale utilities illustrates our continued growth and leadership in this market.”

Saft’s Li-ion BESS is designed to control the network frequency and voltage, allowing diesel generators to operate at optimum efficiency and to be shut down whenever possible. The Saft solution will provide significant savings in diesel consumption and reduced maintenance expenses.

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