Field Battery Energy Storage Project

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Innovative battery storage facility first of its kind in Canada

The town of Field, British Columbia is now home to a state-of-the-art battery back-up energy source, storing clean energy that can be used to help meet the area’s electricity needs in the event of a power outage, and to reduce system load during periods of high demand.

What’s happening

Located about 55 kilometres east of Golden in Yoho National Park, Field receives power from the Golden Substation, through a single distribution line that services Field and the surrounding area.

The battery project — designed as a back-up power source to the existing distribution line — involved building and installing a one-megawatt battery bank unit close to Field, in Parks Canada’s Boulder Compound.

The new battery facility has been operational since July 11 2013, and provides up to seven hours of backup electricity to customers in Field during power outages. As part of the partnership with Natural Resources Canada, BC Hydro is exploring options to notify Field customers directly when outages occur (such as direct emails or SMS alerts), and provide information about energy conservation, which will help extend the life of the battery back‐up during outages.

Watch the project video to learn more

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Inside the battery storage building

Why it's important

There are a number of issues that affect electricity reliability and response times to outages in the area due to its remote location. The distribution line that provides power to Field runs along a CP Rail line, which can make it challenging for BC Hydro repair crews to access the line and locate faults during an outage. The battery improves reliability for Field by providing a critical source of back-up power during prolonged outages.

In addition to improving reliability, the battery facility helps reduce the costs and environmental impacts of supplemental supply (such as diesel generators) that are used during prolonged power outages.

This project is also is a critical step in the adoption and integration of energy storage into the electric power grid. Projects like this one help BC Hydro and other utilities gather valuable insight about integrating storage into the grid.

Knowledge from this project can be further applied to the integration of storage with intermittent and renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power.

Trevor Wareham, BC Hydro Electrician Sub foreman and Vlad Kositsky, BC Hydro Project Manager inspect one of four banks of sodium-sulphur battery modules.
Trevor Wareham, BC Hydro Electrician Sub foreman and Vlad Kositsky, BC Hydro Project Manager inspect one of four banks of sodium-sulphur battery modules. These four banks of battery modules linked together create the one megawatt capacity.