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September 01, 2020 1:41pm
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1 GWh battery energy storage project advances in Ontario

The project is one of Canada's largest battery energy storage projects and would use equipment from Tesla.

Northland Power said it signed a 20-year fixed-price energy storage facility agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario, Canada, for the Oneida Energy Storage Project. 

Days earlier, Toronto-based Northland agreed to acquire a majority interest in the 250 MW/1,000 MWh battery energy storage facility that is being developed in parentship with NRStor Inc. and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp. 

Under terms of the deal, Northland will take the lead role in its construction, financing and operation. Financial close is expected later this year with full commercial operations targeted for 2025.

The ESFA was signed February 9 and follows the issuance of a Ministerial Directive to enable the project to move forward, granted by the Government of Ontario.

Tesla signed battery supply and long-term service agreements. Developers also signed an EPC agreement with Aecon Group to design, engineer and construct the facility.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank is supporting project development and the project partners are  working with an unspecified number of commercial banks to complete project financing. Natural Resources Canada has provided C$50 million ($37.47 million) in funding from the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program. 

Developers said the project is one of Canada’s largest battery energy storage projects. Once in service, it is expected to double the amount of energy storage resources on Ontario’s grid from around 225 MW to 475 MW.

Northland Power was founded in 1987, has offices in eight countries, and owns or has an economic interest in 3.0 GW (net 2.6 GW) of operating capacity. The company also has a pipeline of projects that totals around 20 GW of potential capacity.

Northland also said it continues to work to achieve commercial operations at its 130 MW La Lucha solar project in Mexico.

In January, the company, along with other Canadian private power producers, met with Mexican government officials in a bid to resolve issues that have delayed energizing the project. Following that meeting, Mexico’s permitting authority approved extending the project’s generation permit. Northland said it is now working with authorities to start project testing and hopes to achieve project startup later this year.

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