Hybrid Microgrid Powers Extreme Arctic Site

February 20, 2015 By Karen Henry

Arctic Circle Energy ManageThe Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) has selected Saft to develop and install an extreme temperature battery energy storage system (BESS) for use as part of a hybrid microgrid that will deliver cleaner, more reliable and less expensive power to a community located 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Canada.

The system will be installed at the Colville Lake Power Station in June 2015 and will provide Colville Lake residents with consistent, renewable solar power and reduced diesel fuel consumption. Colville Lake is a remote community of about 150 inhabitants with temperatures that can swing from -58 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Currently, the community experiences frequent power outages and can only be reached by road during a six-week period in February through March, when northern ice-roads are in use. Otherwise, it is accessed by air. Because of this, the system was completed within a strict timeframe and delivered to Edmonton, where it is awaiting the final trek across the ice-roads.

Saft’s “Cold Temperature Package” design allows for a complete BESS system in an ISO 20-foot container that can withstand extreme arctic environments down to -58 degrees Fahrenheit. As part of the contract, Saft will develop and install one Intensium Max 20M Medium Power Li-ion battery container with 232 kWh of energy and a 200 kW Power Conditioning System from ABB. The BESS will serve as the heart of the hybrid microgrid, which is part of a larger solar and diesel upgrade to the existing power plant.

The solar installation has the capacity to generate about 30 percent of the community’s demand, according to NTPC.

To accommodate NTPC’s long-term plans, Saft’s system is designed with a modular set-up that can be expanded to integrate wind-energy and double the battery’s energy rating in the future.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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