Battery Energy Storage Systems

On this page, we’ll discuss Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), one of the 5 action areas identified in the Road to Resilience R2Rv2 Study.

A key shortcoming of most sustainable energy sources is that they are intermittent. To overcome this, we need a means of energy storage. Energy storage technologies have developed very rapidly over the past couple decades. There is now a global surge in energy storage projects both large and small.

Increasing energy storage capacity in Manitoba will bring a multitude of benefits to the existing electrical grid. These benefits include the following:

  • Load Levelling – Storing energy at times of low demand, and delivering it back to the grid at times of high demand.
  • Capacity Firming – Using energy storage to level out the energy produced from intermittent renewables and to eliminate any rapid fluctuations of voltage and power.
  • Deferred upgrades for existing infrastructure – The load levelling effect of energy storage can reduce the peak load demand on generation and distribution infrastructure, thus delaying upgrades if the peak load is forecasted to exceed the grid’s capacity.
  • Increased Grid Resilience and Stability – Energy storage acts as a backup power supply in the event of any grid disruptions, which could be used to maintain power supply for critical infrastructure.

The increased energy storage capacity in Manitoba may come from three main areas:

  • Electric vehicles with two-way charging capability – When not in use, some electric vehicles are capable of using the energy stored in the vehicle’s battery to supply energy back to the grid during periods of high demand.
  • Commercial Systems – Most large scale energy storage systems use battery technology or pumped hydro storage technology. These systems can be paired with intermittent renewables or can be built as standalone systems specifically designed to support the electrical grid.
  • Residential Systems – Most small scale energy storage systems use battery technology. These systems are often installed with solar photovoltaic systems or as a backup power supply, but can be used for storage by the electrical grid if an agreement is made between the utility provider and the customer.

Technical Analysis

Recommended ActionsPeak Demand
(Firm MW)
% of Target
% of Target
Residential Systems46105.4%0.0%
Commercial Energy storage1,600018.8%0.0%
Electric Vehicles2,941034.5%0.0%
Return Exported Firming Capacity18702.2%0.0%


  1. Commercial energy storage systems have sufficient energy capacity to operate at full power for minimum of 6 hours.
  2. Residential energy storage capacity assumes 20% of all buildings in 2050 have a BESS installed with an average power rating of 5.4 kW and energy capacity of 14.3 kWh. Estimating 530,000 total buildings in 2050, the total power potentially available is 576 MW and total energy capacity is 1.5 GWh. Firm power capacity factor has been estimated at 80%.
  3. Estimating 1,176,500 electric vehicles in 2050, with 10 kW of power available from each vehicle, the total power potentially available is 11,765 MW. It is assumed only 25% of vehicles are available to provide power to the grid at any one moment.

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