The Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project, owned and developed by TC Energy, will play a critical role in Alberta’s renewable energy future. The Project will have a generation capacity of 75 MW, which will provide up to 37 hours of on-demand, flexible, clean energy and ancillary services to the Alberta electricity grid, meeting some of the province’s future power demand with renewable energy sources.
This project will enable more intermittent renewable energy generation on the Alberta Interconnected Electrical System by generating energy during times of high demand, while also having the capability to store energy during times of low demand.
Pumped hydro energy storage is the most economically, environmentally friendly and technologically proven way to store bulk electricity. In fact, it is the most widely used form of energy storage in more than 300 global sites.
The Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project, about 13 kilometres from Hinton, Alberta, Canada, will incorporate two small, off-stream water reservoirs — one atop the hill by the decommissioned Obed Mountain Coal Mine, the other at the bottom, not far from the Athabasca River. These two man-made reservoirs will be connected by a pipeline with pumps, turbines and generating equipment located near the bottom reservoir in a powerhouse and pumphouse.
The reservoirs are not part of existing lakes or water bodies. The design utilizes a closed-loop system, which means it will use the same water repeatedly. Water does not have to be continuously supplied, like a conventional hydro project. One initial fill will be required and due to evaporation, water levels may need to be topped up annually. The Athabasca River will be used as a water source for the initial fill and any required top ups.
The upper reservoir will cover about 30 hectares (74 acres) and hold about 2.5M m3 of water. An intake structure, adjacent to the berm, will house safety shut-off gates and supporting equipment.
The off-stream, man-made lower reservoir will be on a lowland plateau near the Athabasca River sited to minimize impact to the local biodiversity zone. The lower reservoir will cover about 42 hectares (104 acres).
The penstock is a buried water pipeline that connects the upper and lower reservoirs. The penstock will be about 2.5 metres in diameter and approximately seven kilometres in length. The penstock’s routing minimizes creek crossings and fish habitat impact.
The powerhouse and pumphouse will be sited near the lower reservoir to house the pumping and generating equipment and all associated technology.
Once in operation, the project will have capacity to store 75 MW for up to 37 hours of full capacity generation.
The AESO (Alberta Electric System Operator) and the Alberta power market both allow and enable merchant generation and energy storage projects. In addition, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has a well-defined process for the approval of power plants. The Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project has received its AUC Power Plant and Hydro Development approvals and has recently submitted its application for AUC Substation approval.
TC Energy is procuring contractors, suppliers and vendors via the TC Energy Supplier Registration Portal.
TC Energy's Alberta power-generation plants and business is governed according to regulations outlined by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC).
TC Energy is committed to notifying affected landowners, towns, communities and local, state and federal governments and agencies involved in the Project. If you have any questions about the Project, please reach out to us via the contact information below.
Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project (TC Energy)450 – 1 St. SWCalgary, Alberta T2P 5H1