Alberta Approved Pumped Hydro Storage Project

13 September 2018

Regulators in Alberta, Canada, have approved the construction of the 75 megawatt (MW) Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project. It is one of the first large-scale energy storage projects underway in the province.

The developer, Turning Point Generation, will build the facility and make use of existing infrastructure from a decommissioned open pit coal mine. The project includes an upper storage pond, a receiving pond some 500 meters lower in elevation, a penstock connecting the two ponds and a powerhouse and pump station that houses both turbine-generators and high-volume pumps. Preliminary designs indicate that the power plant will consist of three 25 MW Pelton turbines while the pump house will consist of four 16 MW three-stage horizontal axis pumps. 

The project is expected to have a total storage capacity of 37 hours. The system will be closed-loop and off-stream, after its initial fill from the nearby Athabasca River. The developer expects to draw small quantities of water from time to time to account for leaks and evaporation.