Capital Power is proposing a battery energy storage system (BESS) installation of up to 120 megawatts (MW) of power storage, with electrical energy output for up to four-hours. The project would be located on a parcel of land which is owned by an affiliate of Capital Power and adjacent to the existing York Energy Centre (YEC).
The BESS will be used to support grid reliability. It will be charged during times when there is surplus electricity available on the provincial power grid (generally during off-peak hours) and will discharge energy to the grid during peak hours or when there may be a disruption in system supply. The proposed BESS will help meet increasing local and provincial electricity demands by providing critical backup generation support, thereby better enabling both a reliable supply of electricity and flexibility in support of intermittent renewable energy sources (i.e., solar and wind).
BESS systems are non-emitting technologies. The proposed BESS project will operate independently from the existing YEC.
The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has identified a significant need for new power supply in the province. At the system level, the IESO is projecting an increasing deficit of generation capacity starting in 2025. The primary causes for the estimated shortfall are: 1) increasing demand, 2) retirement and refurbishment of Ontario’s nuclear fleet, and 3) expiring contracts at existing facilities.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is a high priority for the IESO. As a result of this forecasted regional and system wide shortfall, the IESO launched the Expedited Long-Term Request for Proposal (E-LT1 RFP) process which aims to procure 1,500 MW of capacity from new facilities across Ontario, at least 900 MW of which is intended to comprise energy storage facilities. Under this E-LT1 RFP process, projects awarded an IESO contract have a target operation date of May 2025 to May 2026.
The IESO is planning to award contracts under this procurement in May or June of 2023.
The BESS is proposed north of the existing YEC facility, on a separate parcel of land owned by Capital Power, municipally referred to as 18815 Dufferin Street (44.0761, -79.5316), Township of King, Regional Municipality of York.
The BESS itself consists of numerous interconnected, weather-proof modular enclosures that are managed and operated as a single unit. The BESS enclosures are similar in size to shipping containers, approximately 9 metres (m) long, 3 m wide, and 2 m tall, depending on the manufacturer. Each BESS enclosure is fully sealed, centrally controlled, and individually temperature monitored. Each enclosure has its own heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to ensure optimum performance.
Project design and engineering has been initiated and will continue to advance as the project progresses. specific equipment to be procured will be confirmed as the project progresses. Conceptual layouts of the BESS project are provided and described further below.
The area encompassing the BESS installation will be approximately 1.5 hectares (4 acres) in size and is proposed within the mowed field used for the previous YEC construction/storage laydown area at the back of the property. No agricultural land will be taken out of production and a minimum 30m setback from the nearby woodlot will be maintained.
The BESS site will be accessed via the existing YEC driveway and parking lot during construction and operation. The construction phase will be approximately one year in duration, and will include site preparation, foundation and laneway construction, component delivery and installation, including crane(s) required for placement of the BESS modules, and post-construction site restoration of temporary construction areas.
Temporary construction storage and equipment laydown areas that would be temporarily graveled will be located within the northern parcel where the BESS would be sited and/or the existing YEC property.
Subject to selection by the IESO, construction is currently anticipated to begin in Spring 2024, upon completion of regulatory permitting and approvals.
Various permitting and approval processes will be completed before the project can proceed. In addition to municipal requirements, these will include the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities process and provincial approvals related to noise and stormwater. Ongoing engagement with the public and Indigenous communities will be a key part of these regulatory processes.
Consultation and engagement
We value and consider local community interests and priorities. We engage government, employees, local communities, investors, shareholders, and Indigenous communities. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments or want to be added to the project mailing list.
Public information session
We anticipate holding an open house on the project in 2023. Information on this event will be sent to all stakeholders, advertised locally and share on this webpage.
Email: [email protected]