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Features 03-10-2022

3 min read

EPCOR debuts new solar farm with battery energy storage solution in Edmonton, Alberta

On September 20, EPCOR, a leading North American provider of water and energy services announced the grand opening of a new solar farm as part of the EL Smith Water Treatment plant, which supplies water to Edmonton, AB and 65 surrounding communities. Fittingly named kīsikāw pīsim (“daylight sun” in English) by Enoch Cree Nation, the solar farm will generate renewable energy to help power the water treatment plant and its water distribution processes, while reducing greenhouse emissions by up to 14,000 tonnes. It is also one of the first solar projects incorporating a Hitachi Energy battery energy storage solution (BESS) to maximize operational performance of the adjacent water plant.

Part of EPCOR’s overall commitment to the City of Edmonton's vision as a leader in energy efficiency and conservation, this project aligns with the City of Edmonton's ‘The Way We Green: Environmental Strategic Plan’ by converting a portion of EPCOR's energy use to locally produced, renewable resources.

“The kīsikāw pīsim solar farm is an example of the work we’re doing to support a greener future today,” said Stuart Lee, EPCOR President & CEO. “This project will make a significant and lasting impact in environmental sustainability by allowing us to produce clean water using clean energy. It will make the water treatment plant more self-sufficient and climate resilient; and EPCOR would like to thank all our partners who brought their leadership and vision to help make it a reality.”

The BESS supports the operations of the kīsikāw pīsim solar farm by storing electric energy on site and releasing this electric energy as needed for use by the Water Treatment Plant.  

The BESS will have a storage capacity of 4MW/8.9MWh, activated based on the power available from the solar generating units together with the load demand at the Water Treatment Plant. For example, when the demand from the Water Treatment Plant exceeds the power available from the solar generating units, the BESS will be used to manage the load.   

When energy produced by the Solar Farm exceeds what is needed for on-site self-supply, either by the Water Treatment Plant or storage in the BESS, it can then be exported back to the local power pool.

Edmonton is sunny. It is one of the leading cities in Canada for solar energy capture, and annual photovoltaic potential. EPCOR can harness the solar farm to produce the most energy possible during the spring, summer and fall months, to best align with water demand at the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.

Customers today, like EPCOR are facing many complex challenges at once including energy autonomy, reliability, and resiliency; looking for new economic opportunities; and effectively managing an increased portfolio of distributed energy resources (DERs), like solar and wind. Hitachi Energy’s e-mesh™ portfolio delivers a scalable, vertically integrated digital ecosystem for managing and optimizing energy at all levels with wide range of applications from the field to the boardroom, on cloud and on premise.

Hitachi Energy is proud to work with customers like EPCOR in driving the evolution of the grid itself. Backed by more than thirty years of innovation and leadership in energy storage and microgrids, the company has provided electricity to communities that once looked at reliable power as far-off dream. And we’re just getting started. Our aim for the next 30 years is to bring electricity to the remaining 940 million people still without access across the globe and enabling a sustainable, flexible and secure power grid to advance a sustainable energy future for all.