Nelson Hydro is applying for a CleanBC grant for a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to Manage Load in its service area. Nelson City Council supported the recommendation from Nelson Hydro General Manager Scott Spencer to apply for funding that combines a Federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure grant with Provincial CleanBC funds for a total of 73% of eligible project costs.
The BESS project will enable Nelson Hydro to charge the system during off-peak hours and feed this energy back into the grid during peak load periods, typically around the dinner hours of 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The system will operate year-round; however, it will be particularly important during extreme cold periods like those experienced in February and December 2021. During these cold snaps, the peak load on the Nelson Hydro system set new demand charges for purchased power from FortisBC. The BESS will assist in smoothing out these peaks and reduce the cost of purchased power, helping to keep rates lower.
Another key benefit of the system will be to improve the resiliency of the electrical distribution system. During power outages, the BESS will be able to supply power, reducing the number of customers affected and the duration homes and businesses are without power.
This project aligns with the City of Nelson’s Climate Action Plan, Nelson Next and Nelson Hydro’s five-year capital plan.
The CleanBC grant application is due on May 25, 2022. The approval of shortlisted projects is anticipated in September 2023.