News & Events

BC Hydro battery energy storage project

The town of Field, British Columbia is now home to a state-of-the-art battery back-up energy source, storing clean energy that can be used to help meet the area’s electricity needs in the event of a power outage, and to reduce system load during periods of high demand. The system is run by NSMG-Net utility partner BC Hydro, and part-funded by NSMG-Net government partner NRCan‘s Clean Energy Fund.

There are a number of issues that affect electricity reliability and response times to outages in the area due to its remote location. The distribution line that provides power to Field runs along a CP Rail line, which can make it challenging for BC Hydro repair crews to access the line and locate faults during an outage. The battery improves reliability for Field by providing a critical source of back-up power during prolonged outages.

In addition to improving reliability, the battery facility helps reduce the costs and environmental impacts of supplemental supply (such as diesel generators) that are used during prolonged power outages.

On Monday, July 15, 2013 BC Hydro experienced their first power outage since connecting the battery to the grid. The system was able to recognize the outage and switch to battery power, supplying the town’s electricity needs (about 200-300kW) for 7.3 hours before the power was restored. At that time, the system automatically disconnected the battery and reconnected the town to the distribution grid. The community is now eager to have a notification of when the battery is in use and modify their consumption accordingly. All in all it was very successful.  Since the successful outage incident in July 2013, the battery is also being used to supply the town’s peak demand from 4-8 p.m. and then is recharged overnight.