Unlocking the Potential of Energy Storage in Ontario

Energy storage can provide immediate, tangible savings to ratepayers, and drive significant benefits to the electricity system and the economy as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. But action needs to be taken now to realize these benefits.

Energy storage can provide immediate, tangible savings to ratepayers, and drive significant benefits to the electricity system and the economy as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis. But action needs to be taken now to realize these benefits.

Our recently released report, Unlocking Potential: An Economic Valuation of Energy Storage in Ontario, found that the introduction of just 1,000 megawatts of energy storage in the province could lead to net savings of more than $2B over the next decade. For residential electricity customers, that translates to between $4.50 and $11.50 in savings per year. Simply put, energy storage helps the power grid operate more efficiently, and helps electricity consumers shift how they use electricity - by storing low-cost, often surplus electricity (including from renewable wind and solar resources) during off-peak times to using it during times when electricity is in high demand, more expensive, and sometimes more carbon-intensive.

However, there's currently an inability to fully integrate energy storage within Ontario's electricity market. In order to unlock the system-wide value of energy storage now, Energy Storage Canada recommends for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in consultation with utilities and the Ontario Energy Board, to immediately procure energy storage resources to begin to realize savings identified in the report and to develop an enduring new market mechanism for energy storage in the medium and long term.

Fully enabling energy storage would not only provide the ratepayers savings identified in the report but as well as adding to Ontario's GDP and creating jobs to the province and helping reduce GHG emissions. The jobs contribution of energy storage is significant and unique to this resource in part because of the diversity of assets that storage represents, ranging from commercially-facing jobs across the province for behind-the-meter assets to large-scale infrastructure projects that result in long-term job growth.

But in order to realize these benefits from fully enabling energy storage action needs to be taken now otherwise Ontario risks falling behind other jurisdictions who are taking concrete steps to unlock the potential of energy storage.

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Energy Storage Canada is the national industry association representing the broad range of companies engaged in the energy storage business across Canada. Our membership represents all players along the energy storage value chain -- technology providers, project developers, investors and operators, electricity distribution companies and NGOs. We represent some of the largest energy companies in Canada as well as some of the smallest and most innovative clean-tech organizations.

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