TransAlta Corporation
TSX : TA
NYSE : TAC

TransAlta Corporation

June 30, 2015 12:04 ET

TransAlta using Tesla battery storage technology in Alberta's first large-scale energy storage project

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 30, 2015) - TransAlta Corporation (TSX:TA) (NYSE:TAC) has been awarded $250,000 from Alberta Innovates - Energy & Environment Solutions (AI-EES) to help launch Alberta's first large-scale commercial energy storage project.

TransAlta will use commercial-scale lithium-ion batteries to reduce energy costs for the customer. Five commercial-scale Tesla Powerpack batteries will be installed, each about the size of a household fridge, in a medium-sized building, such as a large grocery store, apartment block, post-secondary institution building or small office tower.

"TransAlta is at the forefront of our industry in using innovation to improve environmental performance in power generation, and we are now implementing new and sustainable ways to store energy, setting the stage for the future," said President and CEO Dawn Farrell. "This project demonstrates our commitment to sustainable technology advancement."

The technology allows a building owner to purchase electricity during times of low demand and low prices - after midnight, for example - store it in the on-site battery units, and then use that power during periods of high demand when prices peak, typically in the late afternoon and early evening.

The project should be running in late-2016. More than half of the total project costs will be covered by TransAlta as part of our commitment to the demonstration project.

AI-EES's Next Generation Energy Storage Technologies initiative is an international competition seeking energy storage technologies with the highest potential for Alberta. AI-EES received more than 50 proposals.

"Clean power generation is a critical challenge for Alberta. Our goal is to have 20 per cent electricity generation from renewable energy in 2030. These energy storage projects will be instrumental in harnessing Alberta's renewable resources and integrating them on the electricity grid affordably and efficiently," said Dr. Mark Summers, Director of Renewable Energy for AI-EES.

TransAlta believes that the wide-scale deployment of lithium-ion batteries will encourage more wind and solar power to be installed in Alberta, further improving the sustainability of Alberta's overall renewable energy supply.

"Home and business energy storage is just starting to gain momentum in the U.S, with California leading the way due to the incentives offered there, but our project will be the first of its kind in Alberta," said Dan Chapman, TransAlta's Lead Engineer, Technology. "This is a major step forward in putting new technology to work in Canada, and Tesla is already a leader in this field. We're now looking for a customer to partner with us on this project."

About TransAlta:

TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. TransAlta maintains a low-to-moderate risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta's focus is to efficiently operate wind, hydro, natural gas and coal facilities in order to provide customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power. For over 100 years, TransAlta has been a responsible operator and a proud contributor to the communities in which it works and lives. TransAlta has been selected by Sustainalytics as one of Canada's Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies since 2009 and is recognized globally for its leadership on sustainability and corporate responsibility standards by FTSE4Good.

This news release may contain forward looking statements, including statements regarding our business, the expected results of this new technology, the benefits it may have for customers, the size of the customer that may benefit from this project, the use of future renewables, and the potential increase in the sustainability of Alberta's energy supply. These statements are based on TransAlta Corporation's belief (including those of its subsidiaries) and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumptions were made. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Investor Inquiries:
    Brent Ward
    Director, Corporate Finance and Investor Relations
    1-800-387-3598 in Canada and U.S.

    Jacqueline O'Driscoll
    Manager, Investor Relations
    1-800-387-3598 in Canada and U.S.
    investor_relations@transalta.com

    Media Inquiries:
    Leanne Yohemas
    Senior Advisor, External Communications
    Toll-free media number: 1-855-255-9184
    ta_media_relations@transalta.com