Regulation service is the grid-balancing function traditionally provided by generators in ensuring supply matches demand. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected three new suppliers outside of the current electricity generators to provide regulation service. They will be using alternative technologies such as aggregated loads for demand response, along with flywheel and battery storage technologies on the supply side.
Regulation service is used to correct small, sudden changes to the power system and has become increasingly important to facilitate renewable resources like wind and solar energy, whose output to the grid varies day by day, minute by minute. Through an RFP process conducted earlier this year, the IESO is now in contract discussions with three new suppliers, including ENBALA Power Networks Inc., NRStor Incorporated and Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada).
ENBALA Power Networks Inc will deliver an aggregated network of demand side storage, providing up to four megawatts of flexible storage and energy use, helping to increase the system’s efficiency and reliability.
NRStor has partnered with Temporal Power, which produces the world’s highest energy flywheel technology, and Ontario Power Generation to deliver two megawatts of regulation service for grid balancing purposes. This technology has a very fast response time, allowing energy to be stored and used later at times of higher demand.
RES Canada offers development and construction services for wind, solar, storage and transmission projects. They will be responsible for delivering Ontario’s first battery regulation service, which will be installed in southwestern Ontario.
This new set of regulation service providers should provide stability to the electricity system, with the possibility of limiting the price volatility that is seen in times of high and low demand.
Lisa Brodeur is a quality assurance supervisor with 360 Energy.