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Stantec to Lead Study on Pumped Storage Hydro for WaterPower Canada

Energy Connections Canada member, Stantec, is helping to lead research on creating a net-zero economy

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Global design firm Stantec has been commissioned by WaterPower Canada to assess the potential for pumped storage hydro (PSH) across Canada. In a study alliance with the Australian National University, CEATI, and Power Advisory, Stantec and its partners will help WaterPower Canada and the wider hydropower industry to better understand the strategic value of pumped storage hydro facilities.

The report – known as the Technical and Economic Potential Assessment of Pumped Storage Hydropower in Canada – will present the strategic advantages and role of PSH in a future decarbonized electricity supply-mix in Canada.

In response to the Canadian government’s commitment to achieve a net-zero emissions electricity supply by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050, WaterPower Canada – a national trade association that advocates for the Canadian hydropower industry – has commissioned research projects to explore opportunities to support the increase of installed capacity of hydropower in Canada. This assessment report will be one of those research projects.

“We realize the significance this study can have for the hydropower sector community and the social, economic, and environmental landscape in Canada,” says Michael Morgenroth, Stantec’s principal investigator on the project and business leader for hydropower and dams in Canada. “That’s why we have activated our network to form a study alliance that brings Stantec, the Australian National University, CEATI, and Power Advisory under one tent as a team that can do justice to this strategic study to position waterpower among leaders into a new era.”

Stantec will act as principal investigator and study lead. The Australian National University, Australia’s highest-ranked university, originated the Global Atlas of Off-River Pumped Hydro Storage. CEATI provides leadership in developing applied technology solutions for the electricity industry on a collaborative basis, with over 150 utilities participating from more than 18 countries. Power Advisory offers extensive experience in North American electricity markets with a deep understanding of the power system, market design, and investment climate.

“New clean energy projects and infrastructure must be rapidly advanced to achieve a net-zero electricity supply in Canada by 2035, and beyond,” says Carolina Rinfret, president and CEO, WaterPower Canada. “One of the most promising options for storing electricity at scale and for long periods of time is pumped storage hydro. Through this study, we intend to raise awareness to this proven and cost-effective type of energy storage, and to demonstrate the full potential that it holds in Canada, especially with integration of more variable renewables onto the grid, like wind and solar energy.”

In 2020, Stantec celebrated 100 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of dam and hydropower projects. Throughout the company’s history, Stantec has been rated within the top hydropower firms globally. The firm’s client base for hydropower and dams includes the largest utilities in Canada and the United States. Stantec has designed more than 130 new hydroelectric projects with a total installed capacity of more than 150,000 MW in operation.

A global leader in pumped storage, Stantec provides a full range of engineering and environmental services – from concept planning to implementation of projects ranging in capacity from 40 to 3,000 MW, as well as complementing the life cycle with rehabilitation services. Stantec has developed a global footprint in pumped storage from over 55 years of experience working with our international clients. The company has one of the largest staff of pumped storage specialists in the international consulting field.

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