The Conservation Fund provides financial support for innovative electricity conservation technologies, practices, research, and programs that will help Ontario reach its long-term energy conservation goals.
Building Ontario’s energy storage capability with timely support
Jeff Veltri (left) and Cam Carver of Temporal Power Ltd.
Small investments make a big impact at Ontario startups
How do you store energy? Some have compared it to catching sunlight in your hand.
But today, two Ontario-based startup companies are proving that even variable energy sources like wind and solar can successfully be stored and used to balance out fluctuations in Ontario’s energy grid.
Temporal Power Ltd. and ENBALA Power Networks both recognized the need for effective solutions to manage and store energy. Each also received $300,000 from the Conservation Fund, and began pilot projects in 2010 using two very different technologies.
About the Projects
Engineer and inventor Jeff Veltri developed the prototype for a flywheel – a mechanical battery that can convert electrical energy into kinetic energy, store it, then change it back again as needed. Starting with a one kilowatt hour storage device, IESO funding allowed Veltri and his partner Cam Carver to scale up to a 20 kilowatt hour size, and work toward a grid-scale device. Now, Temporal has 20 employees, energy sector investors, and projects that include supplying Hydro One with flywheels to smooth the output of wind turbines.
ENBALA’s technology works by connecting their customer’s critical energy-consuming equipment to a smart grid platform that can respond to signals from Ontario’s electricity system operator, IESO. “This solution works with equipment that does not necessarily have to operate at full power or on a set schedule, and can in essence store energy where it stands,” said President and CEO Arthur Vos. The platform tells the equipment to use less or more power, based on real-time demand on the IESO grid, without causing a noticeable change or disruption at the facility. ENBALA’s client list now includes McMaster University, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Windsor Water and more.
ENBALA’s smart grid platform allows for efficient regulation of the electricity demanded by large industrial consumers at any given time, while Temporal’s flywheel takes a technology invented by Leonardo Da Vinci and makes it pertinent today.