Clean Energy Update: Battery Storage & Beyond
It’s been an exciting summer for renewable energy news. In July, Prime Minister Trudeau shared that $130 million, will go towards four battery sites that Nova Scotia Power will install across the province to store clean energy and support affordability for customers. And last month, the province announced five new wind projects, each majority-owned by one or more Mi'kmaq communities.
These are important steps as we work towards 80 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Over the next eight years, there is much to be done as we remove coal from our energy mix and transform how we make, deliver and store electricity.
We checked in with Mark Sidebottom, our newly appointed Chief Clean Energy Officer, for an update on what’s next for our clean energy transition and what it all means for customers.
This is the first time Nova Scotia Power has had a Chief Clean Energy Officer. Why was it important to create this position?
“It reflects our priorities and formalizes the work we’ve been doing for the last two years, as we work towards 80 per cent renewable energy—I’m thrilled to step into the role. It’s exciting to have a dedicated position that’s laser focused on the transition to cleaner energy and to build a team that has one mission: To reach our renewable energy goal and build a cleaner, greener future for Nova Scotia.”
How do the recent announcements around wind and battery storage help advance the transition to 80 per cent renewable?
“Wind is our most abundant clean energy resource in Nova Scotia. We’re looking forward to supporting the recently announced independent power producers as they bring more wind energy to the grid.
And while wind will always be a critical and an affordable energy source, the challenge of course is that the wind doesn’t always blow. And as more customers choose to use electricity to power their lives, we need to make sure that we can meet that demand. We can’t count on wind alone.
This is where other solutions like batteries come in. Batteries are one of the ways we can serve customers during periods when demand for electricity is high, while enabling us to integrate more wind and solar to the grid. When energy is generated at different times than when our customers want to use it—like overnight, when it’s windiest—you need to be able to store that energy.
We will be installing four 50-MW grid-scale batteries at four sites across the province, to store clean energy and provide continued reliable power for our customers.”
What should customers know about these new battery projects?
“The four new battery sites will include both urban and rural communities and will be among the largest battery storage projects in North America. Most importantly, this announcement of financial support from the Government of Canada helps with the affordability of our transition to renewable energy.
The battery sites will create new, green jobs and will help us ensure reliable service for customers. It’s exciting and we’re energized by the momentum!”
Can batteries enable us to reach Nova Scotia’s renewable energy target?
“They will absolutely play a role in our renewable transition, but they represent one piece of the puzzle.
Batteries will help us reduce our carbon footprint, allow us to grow our use of wind and solar power, and increase the reliability of our grid. But we can’t build infinite batteries—so to get to 80 per cent clean energy, and to ensure that we’re able to continue to meet demand and deliver electricity exactly when our customers need it, we need a portfolio of solutions.
One of those solutions is a transmission connection to clean energy sources in other parts of Canada. By strengthening our transmission line connection to New Brunswick, we will have the ability to connect to clean, reliable hydropower in Quebec.”
What are you most excited about as we continue on this cleaner, greener path?
“I’m looking forward to continuing to listen and collaborate with our customers and communities. Our plans will grow and evolve as we push forward, and it’s critical that we hear from our customers—their input and involvement will help us make the right decisions.
This is a path we’re all on together—with our customers, government and communities across the province.”
For more information about our clean energy transition and how we’ll reach 80 per cent renewable energy, visit nspower.ca/clean.
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