What does Energy Storage in Ontario mean for Developers?

By Ka-Ming Lin (klin@ortech.ca)

The current Energy Storage environment in Ontario is a very dynamic situation.  There are numerous drivers, both internal to the Ontario market and global factors which are creating the need for solutions like energy storage.  It’s also very broad and has the potential to impact every level and all aspects of the energy industry from generators to transmission and distribution owners and operators to end-users.

Our whole approach to energy is changing.  Fuel mix changes and renewable integration, conservation, grid modernization, distributed energy resources, load profile changes as the economy moves from traditional industrial to more knowledge based sectors, EVs and the upcoming electrification of everything, the emerging importance of resilience and climate change adaptation.  Ontario’s current response to the changes was the green economy transformation but the cost implication of this shift has resulted in significant backlash.  That’s going to affect what we do and when we get to do it.

There are applications that are starting to become economic, as well as potential new applications related to the changing grid.  The hardest part of figuring this out is the timing.  A lot of these changes are interrelated, and the rate of uptake on things such as EVs or conservation is going to change the needs and demands on the grid.  So I see a lot of change coming, with some parts counter-balancing others, and a lot of uncertainty as well.

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