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Ontario may demand storage with next round of renewables

CANADA: The Ontario government is looking to make energy storage a prerequisite for bringing new large-scale renewable energy projects on line in the province in the future, according to energy minister Bob Chiarell.

Bob Chiarelli: storage may be a prerequisite for next year's renewables procurement
Bob Chiarelli: storage may be a prerequisite for next year's renewables procurement

The suggestion was met with doubts within the wind industry about whether the move is necessary at this point in time.

Chiarelli told delegates at the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Toronto that the province’s next large renewables procurement, set for early next year, could require the incorporation of storage technologies. The procurement is expected to include 300MW of wind out of a total 535MW.

"The next challenge must be to increase the system benefit of renewable energy projects," he said.

But industry leaders raised concerns about cost and questioned whether co-locating storage with wind projects was the most effective way to deploy the technology. Wind penetration levels in the province are also not high enough for significant storage, they said during a panel discussion.

"I think it is quite clear storage is going to have a role to play at some point, but I think it is also clear storage doesn’t have to play a role right now," said CANWEA president Robert Hornung.

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