That energy project is just nuts.

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victor

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#1
Trans Canada Energy (TC Energy) is proposing to develop an energy-storage facility on the Fourth Canadian Division Training Centre near Meaford. According to the company’s website, the facility would provide 1,000 megawatts of energy for the electricity system and would cost $3.3 billion. Construction on the project is expected to start in 2022, with an opening date sometime in 2027. And it involves massive pumping of water. “During periods of low electricity demand, water would be pumped upslope from Georgian Bay through enclosed pipes to the upper reservoir,” the company’s website states. “When demand for electricity is high, the water is released down through the same pipes to generate electricity for the grid.”



Just using Tesla's megapacks it would cost 3 times less and it could be done 10 times faster! Nuts...

Source: https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/9...lion-energy-project-could-add-to-labour-woes/
 

jsmay311

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Can you share how you made those calculations?

I wasn’t able to find anything online that describes the capacity of the proposed pumped hydro reservoir (I.e., MWh rather than just MW), nor a price for Megapacks in order to compare the two.

And then the longevity of each would have to be taken into account as well.
 

victor

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#3
Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia provides a total of 129 megawatt-hours of storage capable of discharge at 100 megawatts (130,000 hp) into the power grid. "entire cost of the project, estimated at US$50 million". So the cost for the TC Energy project at 1000 megawatts would be US$500 mil or CA$670 mil. Well round it up to CA$1 billion, no biggie.

And I agree the longevity should be taken into account. As well as complexity.
 

Dr. J

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#4

JWardell

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Trans Canada Energy (TC Energy) is proposing to develop an energy-storage facility on the Fourth Canadian Division Training Centre near Meaford. According to the company’s website, the facility would provide 1,000 megawatts of energy for the electricity system and would cost $3.3 billion. Construction on the project is expected to start in 2022, with an opening date sometime in 2027. And it involves massive pumping of water. “During periods of low electricity demand, water would be pumped upslope from Georgian Bay through enclosed pipes to the upper reservoir,” the company’s website states. “When demand for electricity is high, the water is released down through the same pipes to generate electricity for the grid.”



Just using Tesla's megapacks it would cost 3 times less and it could be done 10 times faster! Nuts...

Source: https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/9...lion-energy-project-could-add-to-labour-woes/

We have a very similar 1200MW system here in Massachusetts and my guess is why they don't bother to offer time of use electricity pricing.

https://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2016/12/02/northfield-mountain-hydroelectric-station


You can also see the company has recently been adding Tesla batteries around the state as well:
https://www.firstlightpower.com/facilities/
 

jsmay311

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#6
Thanks.

Also in the FAQ:

“What is the advantage of pumped storage?

Pumped storage stores power, similar to a battery, until it is needed. However, pumped storage is on a much larger scale than batteries and can charge or discharge for much longer durations, providing enough power on demand to balance most renewable power swings across Ontario. Unlike lithium ion batteries, which degrade with repeated use and age, pump storage stores efficient and non-degrading energy in an elevated reservoir filled with water.”


I still can’t find anything that explicitly states the total storage capacity. But the FAQ does say that it would be similar to an existing pumped hydro plant on Lake Michigan. And according to Wikipedia, that plant has a storage capacity of 9 hours while running at its rated power. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludington_Pumped_Storage_Power_Plant

Tesla’s battery systems are only rated to last ~1.3 hours at their rated power.

In other words, the pumped hydro would provide a LOT more capacity than batteries of a similar power rating.
 
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jsmay311

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#7
Anyway, the main point I’d make is that if you care about expanding renewable energy to combat climate change, expanding grid storage is a vitally important component of that. So we should celebrate any expansion of grid storage capacity, especially on a large scale like this project (as long the project makes sense vs alternative approaches — and it’s hard to imagine that a company planning to invest $3.3B into a project wouldn’t do their due diligence on that). And we should be agnostic as to whether that project comes with a Tesla “T” printed on it or not.
 

Dr. J

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Anyway, the main point I’d make is that if you care about expanding renewable energy to combat climate change, expanding grid storage is a vitally important component of that. So we should celebrate any expansion of grid storage capacity, especially on a large scale like this project (as long the project makes sense vs alternative approaches — and it’s hard to imagine that a company planning to invest $3.3B into a project wouldn’t do their due diligence on that). And we should be agnostic as to whether that project comes with a Tesla “T” printed on it or not.
I agree, as long as there are not serious environmental consequences. They haven't done the environmental study yet on the TCEnergy project.
 

garsh

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#9
... it’s hard to imagine that a company planning to invest $3.3B into a project wouldn’t do their due diligence on that...


A project like this has probably been in the planning stages for many years. Tesla battery packs on this scale have been a rather recent development. Given the rather large difference in price, they really should investigate the Tesla option before continuing down this path.
 

brur

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#10


A project like this has probably been in the planning stages for many years. Tesla battery packs on this scale have been a rather recent development. Given the rather large difference in price, they really should investigate the Tesla option before continuing down this path.
Not feeling like batteries are going to fill the gap. Fourth gen nuclear offers the best solution for energy production. Even with nuclear, there will be a need for batteries. There is an enormous spike of energy need just as the sun starts falling off forecasted. Gas plants can't make the transition its so spectacular.
As for battery only, please consider running New York city overnight on battery banks. RealEstate costs alone would kill that option.
 

jsmay311

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A project like this has probably been in the planning stages for many years. Tesla battery packs on this scale have been a rather recent development. Given the rather large difference in price, they really should investigate the Tesla option before continuing down this path.
Except... what large difference in price?

If I take all the available info posted above to try to make a cost comparison estimate, the pumped hydro appears to have lower total up-front costs per MWh than a battery storage system*. (Note, however, that this comparison requires making a significant assumption about the pumped hydro project’s storage capacity, which I couldn’t find anywhere. So if that assumption is way off it could skew things.)

And the up-front cost comparison doesn’t account for the additional advantage of pumped hydro having far superior longevity, which is a crucially important detail to consider for a plant that would be expected to be in operation for many decades. So even if you forecast battery prices dropping significantly below the referenced Hornsdale battery facility cost, pumped hydro would still likely retain a large advantage in total lifecycle cost.

—————————

*The Tesla Megapack example comes from The Hornsdale Power Reserve project, which is listed as a 129 MWh facility for a cost of US$50 million.

For the pumped hydro plant, since we lack a description of the storage capacity, I used a 9-hour estimate based on the known storage capacity rating of the similar Ludington pumped hydro plant.
Capacity: 1000MW x 9 hours = 9000 MWh
Cost: CA$3.3 billion =~ US$2.5 billion

So with these inputs...

Batteries: US$388k per MWh
Pumped hydro: US$278k per MWh
 

Frully

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#13
Another major consideration of battery versus pump storage versus other gravity storage versus versus...

Switching time. A megapack can switch from charging to inverting in a fraction of a second. It takes tens of seconds to turn a pump storage facility around (in case of spikes), and minutes to hours to get traditional power plants online.

Essentially what I'm saying is...why not both? :) Battery for that instant response, gravity for the slightly slower response, efficient peaker plant for the slowest response.
 

garsh

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brur

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#15
point taken, my error.
But I think the point has to be made how unlogical batteries are, used as backup at a scale where populations are so concentrated, and including industry/ commercial use.
Now I saying this while designing my next home with solar roof panels and battery back up. Once you have established the general population and light industry all have installed their own batteries then you have something. But so far backup systems are not suitable in every part and condition for use in the USA. This means a grid needs to be available, powerful, (if for nothing else than to charge batteries or pump water to elevation) clean and efficient.
It's apparent to me I'm sight limited to the point my beliefs are easily proved wrong or will be in a week, year, decade, or in your reply. I'm just asking that you look at what I say and wonder if there is a grain of possibility in what I suggest.
 

garsh

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I'm just asking that you look at what I say and wonder if there is a grain of possibility in what I suggest.
I'm not sure what you're suggesting. It sounds like you're trying to say that batteries aren't a good choice for energy storage. Is that correct?

But if so, I'm not sure of your reasoning. Batteries (or indeed, any type of storage system, including the pumped hydro system being discussed in the OP) are not meant to meet the long-term continuous energy needs of an area. They are only meant to supplement energy production systems. But unlike a "peaker" plant that also supplements, storage systems do this by storing otherwise unneeded energy generated at low-usage times, and thus are more efficient than peaker plants.
 

Klaus-rf

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#17
Around here - for backup power - we only use battery storage to tide us over until the generator(s) comes on line. Reality has shown that our generators can be at full power - form a cold start - in less than 120 seconds. We have about ten minutes of battery power which is more than enough.

Batteries are expensive, heavy, require periodic maintenance/replacement, and take up lots of space. Having hours of [high-load] battery power is cost prohibitive.
 

Dr. J

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#18
Utility-scale solar + storage is cheap and getting much cheaper:

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/lo...rically-low-cost-solarstorage-project/562681/

https://www.energy-storage.news/new...s-aim-for-big-solar-plus-storage-procurements

Altogether, I believe this deal comes in under 4 cents per kWh. Compare that cost to what you put on your house. Compare it to the cost of building and operating a new natural gas power plant. Solar/Wind + storage blows it away.

Batteries don't have to do everything, as @garsh pointed out. They just have to store energy from peak production times (usually mid-day) until peak usage times (usually evening), none of which (usually) happens at night.
 

JWardell

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#19
Batteries are great for short-term fast acting storage. They are very expensive for larger and longer term storage.
Pumped storage can't react quite as fast, and is more expensive to initially build. But can store near infinite amounts of energy for near infinite amounts of time for no extra cost.
They are still faster at responding than power plants are responding to demand, which can take hours to adjust output.
That's why ours was installed, to compliment a nuclear power plant so it could just run at an optimal continuous output and the pumped storage could absorb the daily demand cycles.
Solar presents an opposite but similar problem, there is a wild swing in output power over the course of the day, so something like pumped storage would also compliment it.
Batteries present an near infinitely fast response time, the expense is in storage quantity instead of time. So they can work with all of these systems to fill in the smaller gaps, demand cycles measured in minutes or seconds instead of hours.
The best solution is always to diversify and use all of these, along with many other types of supply.

That is the magic of electricity. It can be generated in a ton of different ways, it can be stored in a ton of different ways, and it can be converted to work in a ton of different ways.
Wheras oil-based or even hydrogen-based energy must be created in just a few ways, transported in one or tow ways, stored in giant vats, and can only be converted to work with fire.