Canada’s largest battery project moves forward with NRStor, Tesla and partners

Mike Edwards   

News battery supply agreement green energy NRStor Oneida Energy Storage Project Tesla

NRStor Inc. of Toronto has announced that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has entered into an Energy Storage Facility Agreement (ESFA) for the Oneida Energy Storage Project.

This is said to be a significant step in advancing its development and follows the issuance of an Order-in-Council and Ministerial Directive to enable the project to proceed, granted by the Government of Ontario.

Top: Rendering of the future Oneida Energy Storage Project.

The Oneida Energy Storage Project is the largest of its kind in Canada and amongst the largest in the world. It will provide a gigawatt-hour of much needed capacity to the Ontario grid, while prioritizing local Indigenous partnerships and environmental benefits.

NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) have been jointly developing the project since 2018 and are also pleased to announce Northland Power’s participation as an equity and operating partner.

With the finalization of the ESFA, the project proponents have now finalized and executed a battery supply agreement with leading global battery manufacturer Tesla Inc., and an engineering, procurement, and construction agreement with Aecon Group Inc., to advance into the construction phase. The Project will supply the Ontario electricity system through a 250 megawatt/ 1,000 megawatt-hour Tesla Megapack system in southwestern Ontario and is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

In addition, Natural Resources Canada has provided $50 million in funding from the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program, recognizing that the Oneida Energy Storage Project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling increased renewable energy capacity and providing essential grid services.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank has played a key role supporting project development and is collaborating with the Oneida Energy Storage Project on an investment agreement. The project contributes to Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 as well as Canada’s commitment to achieving a 100-percent net-zero-emitting electricity system by 2035.

The facility will help meet Ontario’s future electricity needs by providing clean, reliable power capacity. It will draw and store existing surplus baseload and renewable energy during off peak periods and release that power back to the grid when energy demand is at its peak. In addition, the energy storage facility will help stabilize Ontario’s electricity sector by providing important grid balancing services.

Oneida Energy Storage is expected to provide significant benefits to provincial ratepayers by reducing the need and cost associated with using gas-fired power plants during times of peak demand. The project will help Ontario reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.1 million tonnes, or the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road every year.

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