Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus is getting a boost thanks to a generous donation from Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro.
On November 1, a 250kW industrial battery storage unit was delivered to the Daniel J. Patterson campus by crane, courtesy of NOTL Hydro. The battery will be used by NC for energy storage for peak demand management, and to support academic study in the Schools of Environment and Horticulture, and Trades.
“Niagara College is grateful to NOTL Hydro for this generous donation which aligns with and will help advance our commitment to sustainability outlined in our Strategic Plan,” said Pam Skinner, Senior Vice-President, College Operations. “Energy storage will benefit the College and our community by reducing both our peak electricity demand and our strain on the local grid.”
Valued at $214,000, the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) was used at the local hydro distribution station as a prototype project and research test for renewable energies. No longer in use by NOTL Hydro, the battery will help the College offset peak energy use and help our operations achieve cost-savings over the next 15 to 20 years – the battery’s remaining life span.
“NOTL Hydro initially purchased the battery storage unit as part of a Government of Ontario Smart Grid Fund project to test the viability of using battery storage to increase the capacity of a distribution feeder line to support distributed energy resources. It was also used for testing voltage regulation and peak shaving. In addition to the support from the Government of Ontario Smart Grid Fund, support was also provided by Panasonic Eco Solutions Canada who provided the unit at cost,” said Tim Curtis, President of NOTL Hydro. “We are proud that the battery storage unit will now be used by Niagara College for student development and their own sustainability goals.”
The battery storage unit is significant because it will store off-peak, low emissions electricity to offset the College’s use of peak electricity, which is produced from higher emitting sources.
It will also minimize NC’s demand on the local energy grid during peak times when demand for power is the highest, and when the system relies more heavily on non-renewable energy sources. To learn more about how Ontario generates its electricity, visit the IESO website.
The donation will not only have a positive impact on NC’s energy usage, but also student learning. Data can be harnessed from the battery for student case studies in various environmental and technology programs.
The battery will begin to make a positive impact on NC’s energy use in the spring of 2024 when a support base can be installed, and the battery can be connected to the grid. It is expected to save the College more than $20,000 each year.
A recognition plaque will recognize NOTL Hydro for its generosity.
Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 80 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.
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