Canada, Government and Policy News, North America, Pumped Storage Hydro

First pumped storage project in Alberta, Canada, approved by legislature

Turning Point Generation reports that Alberta Legislature has approved the construction and operation of the Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project.

The Canyon Creek Hydro Development Act passed unanimously in late 2018. Turning Point says Canyon Creek is “the first hydro project to be approved by the legislature in 10 years as well as both the first ever pumped hydro and first ever large-scale energy storage project to be approved in Alberta.”

The Canyon Creek project will be located about 13 km from Hinton, Alberta, Canada, and is designed to incorporate two small off-stream water reservoirs, one atop a hill by Obed mine and the other at the bottom not far from the Athabasca River, Turning Point said. The company says the project will have capacity to store 75 MW for 37 hours of full-capacity generation.

“This is an important milestone for the project, for TPG and for Alberta’s electricity sector,” said Kipp Horton, president and chief executive officer of Turning Point’s parent company, WindRiver Power Corporation. “We are excited to now engage with financing partners to move the project to the construction phase.”

According to Horton, pumped hydro energy storage will be a critical feature of Alberta’s electricity grid as the grid accommodates increasing production from renewable energy, particularly large-scale wind. “The project addresses a key hurdle to integrating renewable generation by absorbing its intermittent output and delivering stable, reliable, carbon-free electricity back to the grid. Pumped hydro is a proven storage technology, deployed globally for decades, and the project’s closed-loop, off-stream design significantly reduces any potential adverse environmental impacts to Alberta’s natural river courses,” he said.

WindRiver is engaged in the development, ownership and operation of renewable energy projects in western Canada and internationally, with a focus on run-of-river hydro, wind generation and now, through Turning Point, pumped hydro energy storage.