Quebec’s Largest Energy Storage System, Provided by EVLO, Ensures Reliable Power for Remote Quebec Town
Nestled in central Quebec, the small town of Parent is the supply point for dozens of outfitters and adventurers who come to experience the area’s rugged terrain and natural beauty. In the winter, the community becomes a hub for snowmobiling; year-round, a thriving sawmill provides employment to over 150 workers.
The 600+ residents of Parent, and the many visitors to the community rely on a single transmission line for power – which needed critical upgrades in 2021. To complete these improvements while supplying uninterrupted electricity to Parent residents and most businesses, EVLO deployed a 4-MW / 20-MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) for the area’s local utility, Hydro-Quebec.
EVLO System Provides Clean, Quiet, Uninterrupted Energy
The EVLO system, currently the largest energy storage system in Quebec, played a vital role during the town’s transmission line upgrade by providing uninterrupted energy whenever work required primary power sources to be offline.
Now, the system continues to support grid resilience as an auxiliary source of electricity during outages and to offset peak grid demand. This improves service continuity and reduces the community’s reliance on fossil fuel-powered generators, lowering noise pollution and reducing the local grid’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Resolving Grid Faults When It Matters Most
The project broke new ground in reliability as the first BESS in North America that can disconnect from the grid and continue providing power during grid defaults caused by short circuits and other issues.
This unique ability lets the EVLO system detect and provide feedback on the fault’s nature and location, which helps the network identify and resolve it. This also allows the system to maintain a steady power supply to the Parent residents when they need it most – when the usual grid power sources are offline.
Comprehensive Modeling and Testing
Parent’s harsh winters make reliability crucial to ensure Parent residents and visitors stay warm and safe during outages. EVLO’s team ensured that the Parent community can always depend on the BESS by validating the Parent project’s capabilities with our test line that tests the entire system, not just our own products – a process that is unique in the industry. This was particularly key for a transmission project, which must fulfill more standards and regulations than distribution connection projects.
The EVLO team conducted extensive tests before and after fabrication, working closely with Hydro Quebec’s research and development team to create numerical models and simulations representing all possible real-life scenarios and outcomes. EVLO’s Hardware-in-Loop (HIL) service validated the EMTP model against actual field results, providing an extra level of simulation accuracy by allowing the team to repeat several tests without the cost of using all the actual infrastructure of the project.
This comprehensive testing process gave assurance of critical capabilities, including the ability of the converter to ride through all fault cases, a high-quality electrical sine wave to ensure a stable power supply to the grid, and protection equipment. Extensive ongoing engineering support now addresses issues that arise and ensures that all storage and power conversion systems stay online – no matter what.
Looking to the Future: The First Automated BESS Transmission-Level Backup Power in North America
While the Parent project is already online and serving the community, its achievements aren’t over. The project was awarded the Landmark Application of Energy Storage Award at the 2023 Energy Storage Canada Conference, highlighting EVLO’s milestone application in Canada’s energy storage sector, demonstrating innovation, ingenuity and unique value. Soon, the project will become North America’s first fully automated, utility-scale BESS used as a transmission-level backup power.
Currently, as in other BESS, an operator must manually switch the system from grid support mode to island mode, where it becomes the sole power provider for the grid. During the transmission line repair or backup power for planned and unplanned outages, the EVLO BESS plays a pivotal role by providing uninterrupted energy whenever primary power sources are offline and is the first system in North America that can contribute to the fault while serving as the sole source of power for the grid.