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.