TransAlta Corp (TSE:TA) of Canada is developing a 900-MW pumped-hydro energy storage project in preparation for a future in which dispatchable renewable energy sources (RES) in Alberta would replace baseload thermal energy.
The company said on Wednesday the Brazeau Pumped Storage could be up and ready to run as early as 2025 if it secures a long-term contract in a future tender. The facility will be able to store intermittent wind and solar power for use when demand goes up. The province of Alberta aims to add 5,000 MW of renewable power capacity by 2030 in order to reach a 30% share -- a target known as “30 by '30”.
TransAlta said it expects a rise of dispatchable renewable resources in a future where carbon emitting plants will mostly provide back up.
The Brazeau Pumped Storage project is a key part of the energy company’s gas and renewables strategy, which will also include huge coal-to-gas conversions. TransAlta said yesterday that its board of directors has given the green light to certain elements of that strategy, such as the construction of a 120-km natural gas pipeline, the accelerated conversion to gas in 2021-2022 of Sundance units 3 to 6 and Keephills units 1 and 2, and the temporary mothballing of coal-fired power assets.
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