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TransAlta to use Tesla stationary batteries in Alberta’s first large-scale commercial energy storage project

TransAlta Corporation has been awarded $250,000 from Alberta Innovates - Energy & Environment Solutions (AI-EES) to help launch Alberta’s first large-scale commercial energy storage project. TransAlta will use commercial-scale lithium-ion batteries to reduce energy costs for the customer; 5 commercial-scale Tesla Powerpack batteries will be installed, each about the size of a household fridge, in a medium-sized building, such as a large grocery store, apartment block, post-secondary institution building or small office tower.

The technology allows a building owner to purchase electricity during times of low demand and low prices—after midnight, for example—store it in the on-site battery units, and then use that power during periods of high demand when prices peak, typically in the late afternoon and early evening.

The project should be running in late-2016. More than half of the total project costs will be covered by TransAlta as part of our commitment to the demonstration project.

AI-EES’s Next Generation Energy Storage Technologies initiative is an international competition seeking energy storage technologies with the highest potential for Alberta. AI-EES received more than 50 proposals.

TransAlta believes that the wide-scale deployment of lithium-ion batteries will encourage more wind and solar power to be installed in Alberta, further improving the sustainability of Alberta’s overall renewable energy supply.

Home and business energy storage is just starting to gain momentum in the U.S, with California leading the way due to the incentives offered there, but our project will be the first of its kind in Alberta. This is a major step forward in putting new technology to work in Canada, and Tesla is already a leader in this field. We’re now looking for a customer to partner with us on this project.

—Dan Chapman, TransAlta’s Lead Engineer, Technology

TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company; the company maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta’s focus is efficiently to operate wind, hydro, natural gas and coal facilities in order to provide customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power.

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