Pumped hydroelectric vs utility-scale battery energy storage solutions for Alberta: A Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment approach

Renewable sources of electricity continue to increase in market share across all jurisdictions. New wind and solar energy projects in Alberta will be the main drivers to reach the province’s 2030 target to have 30% of its electricity derived from renewable sources. Alongside these projects the power generation companies like TransAlta Corporation will need to look at energy storage solutions to help these intermittent sources of electricity provide reliable and consistent power to the consumer. My research will compare the two most commercially available storage options of utility-scale battery storage and pumped hydroelectric storage. Analysis of these options will include comparison of environmental indicators, capital and operating costs, and social impacts such employment and community impacts. This research will assist in decision making for TransAlta in terms of which type of energy storage solution to pursue in the future.

Travis Brookson
Faculty Supervisor: 
Irene Herremans
Partner University: