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Three Tesla Megapacks installed at Saint John Energy's Somerset substation. Image: Regis Phillips

Saint John Energy’s renewable storage project online

By Regis Phillips Mar 11, 2024 | 8:29 PM

With the commissioning of three Tesla Megapacks, Saint John Energy now operates the largest electrical battery storage deployed in New Brunswick.

The Tesla Megapacks are large-scale rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary storage products manufactured by Tesla Energy, an energy subsidiary of Tesla, Inc.

The Saint John Energy Megapacks project is a partnership with Natural Forces and Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation).

Robert Apold, director of Natural Forces, said this is a Neqotkuk project that cannot be forgotten.

“It is majority-owned. The brainpower behind doing this came from the First Nation, and they are the leaders of pushing this progressive movement towards green energy,” said Apold.

Saint John Energy was the first in the world to deploy a Tesla Megapack when it was first installed in Millidgeville in December 2019 and became fully operational in April 2020.

The newest batteries have been installed at the utility’s Somerset substation, where Saint John Energy’s first substation was built more than 100 years ago.

The batteries will harness and store the power generated by the Burchill Wind Farm and, combined with the Millidgeville Megapack, will have 6.95 megawatts of storage.

Ryan Mitchell, president and CEO of Saint John Energy, said while the batteries do allow excess storage from the Burchill Wind Farm, they play another important role in shifting energy resources to help the utility avoid peak demand

“This is crucial because peak demand is not only expensive, it’s also costly to the environment, and that’s because New Brunswick generating electricity to meet peak demand can as much as double carbon emissions,” said Mitchell.

“By storing energy in these batteries ahead of any peak, we can deploy that cheaper and cleaner electricity during the times of highest demands.”

The four batteries together store enough electricity to power 3,100 homes for two hours.┬áSaint John Energy believes it’s enough storage to supply 3,900 homes.