Electric Thermal Storage (ETS)
The recent rise in the popularity of electric heating in Yukon has been driving up the “winter peak,” which occurs when the demand on the electrical grid is at its highest – typically in the mornings and evenings on the coldest winter days. Since we have no connection to the North American grid, Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) must always produce exactly as much electricity as is being used by their customers at any given time. This has forced Yukon Energy Corporation to use more diesel and natural gas to “top up” our electricity when there isn’t enough hydropower available.
Energy storage technologies, with batteries typically being the first that comes to mind, help remote utilities like YEC store electricity when they have more than they need to use when they demand is at its highest. While battery technology is always improving, there is a limit to how many times they can be charged and discharged. Electric thermal storage (ETS) is one energy storage technology without a limit on the number of times it charges and discharges. ETS heats up a material, typically ceramic bricks, when demand on the electrical grid is lowest for use throughout the delay. It has been successfully used for this purpose in other northern locations, including some of Alaska’s remote communities, and elsewhere in Canada, including Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. This smooths out the daily peaks in demand, reducing the need for remote utilities to use fossil fuels and making the electrical grid more stable.
For this project, we will be demonstrating that the successes experienced in other locations with ETS can be repeated here in Yukon. At least 40 homes in Whitehorse will be provided discounted ETS systems, with participants required to meet a set of eligibility criteria. The performance of participants’ ETS systems, as well as their satisfaction with its performance, will be monitored for the following two winters. This project is being conducted in close collaboration with our official project partners - Yukon Energy Corporation, Yukon Government's Energy Branch, and the Northern Energy Innovation team at Yukon College - whose support has been instrumental in getting this project off the ground.
We will be bringing on an intern to help make this project a success. Details are provided on our Join Our Team page.
Are you interested in hearing more about the project and being notified when registration opens? Click "Read More" to pre-register!
Having trouble pre-registering or have questions about the project? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 867-668-5678 ext. 6. Our office is closed to the public until further notice.