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Canada launches ‘world’s first’ underwater energy storage

Energy Live News, Laura Buckley, November 26;  Infrastructure & Generation


An underwater energy storage system claimed to be the world’s first has been launched in Canada.

The technology harnesses the energy of Lake Ontario to help improve power quality and resiliency for island residents.

The system is located 3km off Toronto Island and in 55 metres of water. It is connected to Toronto Hydro’s grid where it will remain until a two-year pilot study is complete.

The technology works by running electricity through a compressor and converting it into compressed air which is sent underwater and stored in large balloon-like structures. When electricity is needed again, the weight of the water pushes the air to the surface through a large pipe and an expander converts the air back into electricity.

At peak output it is capable of powering around 330 homes and running for more than an hour before it needs to be recharged.

Energy storage systems are designed to store electricity during off-peak hours when demand is low and electricity is cheapest and can be released when needed.

The project is a joint venture between power distribution firm Toronto Hydro and technology developer Hydrostor.

Anthony Haines, President and CEO of Toronto Hydro said: “This event marks an important milestone for our company and we’re thrilled to have the world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage system in service.”