Flow batteries sold to firm Irish windfarm

I’d like to thank Steve Downie, Susan Crofts and Dave Toderick for alerting me to the Toronto Star article about the sale of Canadian flow batteries to an Irish wind-power developer to even out the variations in wind electricity generation.  This is exciting news, and supports what the Realistic Energy Plan for Toronto, which I coauthored, proposed.

We propose the use of flow batteries as a transition measure between our current energy situation and a fully sustainable energy future.  While flow batteries and other energy storage systems are vital to energy systems with large renewable components, which tend to be intermittent, they can also be used to level usage under the current system, by charging up at night when electricity is plentiful and inexpensive, and powering up the grid at times of peak demand.  More details about flow batteries in particular can be found in my article.

In fact, if we were determined to ignore all the potential of conservation, efficiency and other forms of shifting demand, and instead approach the problem of rising electrical demand in the city with a single large engineering project on the Portlands (not that I recommend this), a giant flow battery inside the Hearn could do the job at less expense than the proposed Portlands Energy Centre.  It would also have additional benefits of no emissions, virtually silent operation and a sound basis on which to build a renewable economy.

We should be supporting the Canadian manufacturer of these flow batteries.  The Irish, Australians and Japanese are beating us to our own manufacturers.

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