October 17, 2016 Canyon Creek Project Update Turning Point Generation continues to advance the development of the Canyon Creek project near Hinton, AB. As we have moved forward on all aspects of the project including the grid interconnection studies in particular, changes have been made to the project layout, design and capacity. Most importantly, after completing grid studies we have revised the generation capacity of the project to 75 MW. Other changes have been made to in concert with the revised design capacity. Please see the Canyon Creek Project page for more details.
April 23, 2017
The Canyon Creek project continues to advance with two significant milestones being achieved recently.
Canyon Creek was recently awarded Stage III in the AESO process. The completion of Stage II and achievement of starting Stage III is a major milestone in our development plan as Stage III essentialy locks in the available capacity and ensures Turning Point Generation will have the required capacity at Canyon Creek to match design requirements. This milestone was met with extensive modeling of the AESO system over the past year to confirm the available capacity.
Another major milestone was the Open House held on April 19, 2017. The Open House was held at the Hinton Fish and Game Assocation clubhouse across Highway 16 from the project area. We had a great turnout and exchanged a lot of information. Feedback was very positive. For more on the open house click the link below.
Turning Point continues to advance the Canyon Creek project. Our development plan and schedule continues to work well for this project which looks destined to become the first major energy storage project in Western Canada.
November 9, 2015, Calgary, Alberta. WindRiver Power and Turning Point Generation are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement by which WindRiver will fund the further development of Turning Point’s pumped hydro energy storage projects in Alberta. In exchange, WindRiver will acquire a majority shareholder interest in Turning Point. “Pumped hydro energy storage is one of the keys to unlocking more of Alberta’s vast renewables potential”, commented Kipp Horton, President & CEO of WindRiver. “Turning Point’s development projects are ambitious and will require substantial capital to construct, but the payoff in our assessment will be the long term, predictable returns that long-life cornerstone assets attract. The early development and strategic process work undertaken by Turning Point is impressive and we are confident that the combined strengths of our teams will make these critical additions to the electricity grid a reality.” “For our part”, added Peter Bubik, President of Turning Point, “we are pleased to now have the backing of a company that shares our long-held conviction that pumped hydro energy storage in Alberta will facilitate the integration of significant additional renewable generation. Alberta has topography, albeit limited, that is ideally suited to pumped storage. We also believe that from a regulatory and grid management perspective,the agencies in Alberta that are responsible for planning have the foresight to accommodate a resource that will keep the province at the forefront of renewable energy development.” Turning Point is focused on four projects, the total generating capacity of which is approximately 800 megawatts. Of these, the capacity of the lead project is100 megawatts, suitable for storage capacity of 8 to 10 hours at full generation capacity. Pumped hydro energy storage is a commonly utilized method of large-scale energy storage. It is attractive because it is cost effective, efficient and in many cases also supports the transmission system. The process is straightforward. Water is pumped uphill to a reservoir during periods of low electricity demand and stored. The water is then released downhill into turbines to generate electricity when demand dictates. Of particular note, the closely controlled release of water makes pumped hydro energy storage an effective method of balancing the variable output of renewable generation, particularly wind power. WindRiver Power is a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects, currently focused on hydroelectric and wind power facilities in Western Canada. WindRiver has offices in Calgary, Alberta and Abbotsford, British Columbia. Turning Point is involved exclusively in development of pumped hydro storage in Alberta. For inquiries contact: WindRiver Power Corporation Turning Point Generation Kipp Horton, President & CEO at (403) 233-2259, or Peter Bubik, President at (403) 703-1676
Companies increasing energy storage developments as renewables grow
Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press 01.16.2017
CALGARY - The rise of renewable power has created a need for energy storage that companies are fulfilling with underwater balloons, multi-tonne flywheels and decades-old designs. "Where renewables go, storage will follow," said John Wright, project manager at Northland Power.The need for energy storage comes from the temporary and sometimes unpredictable nature of renewable energy. The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. Power companies and utilities have been looking to compensate for that with what amount to giant batteries and smooth out delivery, storing energy in times of low demand and distributing it when demand is high. Northland has been developing a 400-megawatt pumped storage project that takes the form of an old flooded mine, sitting on a plateau just outside of Marmora, Ont. The roughly $900-million project in eastern Ontario pumps water up into the mine pit when there's extra energy, and then lets it run out through a turbine when more energy is needed. Alberta's plan to replace coal-fired power plants with 5,000 megawatts of new renewable energy — more than all of the renewable energy currently online in Ontario — has prompted TransAlta Corp. to dust off half-century-old plans to expand its Brazeau hydroelectric project. Similar to Northland's Marmora project, Brazeau would be a storage operation that would allow the company to pump water back up to the reservoirs of the existing hydro project, which is about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.
TransAlta currently uses the project's 355 megawatts of hydro to cover peak demands, while the expansion would add 600 to 900 megawatts of capacity and increase its flexibility. In announcing it was restarting development of the estimated $1.8 billion to $2.5 billion project last fall, TransAlta chief executive Dawn Farrell said the project was set to be the company's next hydro project in the 1960s before coal power became economic in the province. "So the world turns around in a big circle, and here we are back to this project," said Farrell.
The circle is even tighter at Turning Point Generation, where Peter Bubik is trying to develop the Canyon Creek pumped storage project on the edge of an inactive coal mine lease in the Rocky Mountain foothills. He says pumped storage is still the most proven way of storing large amounts of energy, with Canada's only existing pumped storage operation near Niagara Falls now in operation for 60 years. "It is the most technologically proven way of storing bulk energy, and today still the cheapest way of storing energy," said Bubik. But new technology is opening other options.
Hydrostor is piloting a project with Toronto Hydro where air is compressed using power and pumped into underwater balloons sitting on the bottom of Lake Ontario. When the energy is needed, the water pressure helps push the air back out through turbines and the power is sent to the grid. Hydrostor chief executive Curtis VanWalleghem said compressed air is growing as a way to store energy, but because it needs old mines or caverns, its potential growth is limited. "What you really need to do is fix the problem about where to store the air, and that's what we focused on, and that's proving to be the winning sauce," VanWalleghem said. Temporal Power, another energy storage startup, helped build Canada's first grid-connected flywheel, which acts like a windup toy and helps smooth out minor supply variations. The flywheel project is one of several that Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator has procured in recent years.
Chuck Farmer, director of stakeholder and public affairs, said the IESO is waiting for Ontario's long-term energy plan set to come out later this year before making any decisions on further power storage projects, but he sees energy storage as a long-term part of the grid.
"We see it at some point participating on an even footing with all the other things that provide services and energy, and we think it will get there in relatively short order," said Farmer.
The Alberta Transmission system would realize significant benefits from incorporating energy storage. The Alberta transmission network and the way the market is structured in Alberta turns out to be favorable for the integration of large energy storage. As well, according to studies completed by Turning Point Generation (TPG), the grid will not only accommodate a significant amount of storage, but the economic case is strong. “We have advanced our pumped hydro storage projects in Alberta through the initial feasibility stages while completing the necessary economic cases. The results are very encouraging” says Peter Bubik, in charge of TPG’s technical development. TPG is a company focused on developing economically viable energy storage projects in order to enable further renewable development.
The Alberta power market, an open competitive market, in the way it is structured can commercially accommodate energy storage. Not only is there a strong on-peak/off-peak pricing differential but renewable power, such as wind is changing the market pattern. Currently the market is punishing to wind producers, who are experiencing a price drop every time the wind blows. The “wind discount” as it is termed is getting more entrenched and is seen to be holding back further development of renewables. Clearly Bubik and his team at TPG see themselves as part of the solution to this. “We really believe that our pumped hydro projects will enable more renewables in Alberta” says Bubik “ and based on our outlook, we think energy storage in Alberta is inevitable, we just think it will happen a lot sooner than some people think”.
Like all power projects, system integration is a critical issue. Power projects including energy storage can be incorporated onto the Alberta system with the developer paying for the system upgrades. “So strategically located energy storage in Alberta can be accommodated” says Bubik, “and will likely provide a significant benefit to the system operator in managing congestion and reducing losses.
Alberta has an opportunity to reduce its carbon emissions and the electric generating industry in Alberta is one of the highest emitter sources in the country. “Energy storage can go a long ways to enabling more renewables on the Alberta grid” says Bubik.
Turning Point Generation is developing its first Pumped Hydro Storage site in Alberta, Canada. The project is anticipated to have a design capacity between 80MW and 150MW and provide sufficient storage to generate about 8hrs at full capacity. It will be connected to the Alberta transmission system. Peter Bubik, with TPG stated, “We are excited to be moving ahead on this project, the first in our portfolio of PHS projects in Alberta. After an extensive strategic process to find and select favourable sites for PHS we are happy to be moving to the next phase of development for this site. This project is our most advanced, has exceptional inherent site characteristics and enjoys favourable reception from key stakeholders, including the First Nations involved. We believe the Alberta power market provides an economical basis for pumped storage at this time and the market indications are showing increasingly favorable economics for pumped storage in the future.”
Turning Point Generation reports that the strategic process to find and select pumped hydro storage sites in Alberta was comprehensive and quite conclusive. “The results of this process indicate that feasible PHS sites in Alberta are quite rare, and we believe we have now assembled a portfolio of the best” says Bubik.
Turning Point Generation believes that significantly more renewable energy can be integrated into the Alberta electrical grid (economically) with the support of adequate energy storage.
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