Ontario is partnering with Toronto Hydro to build an energy storage system to provide back-up power to the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) line.
Officials said the initiative is intended to boost reliability, cut operating costs and lower emissions, and will require the construction of a facility to store the energy generated.
Arthur Potts, parliamentary assistant to the Ontario Minister of Transportation, and Laura Albanese, MPP for York South-Weston, announced Feb. 15 that Ontario and Toronto Hydro have awarded the design-build contract for the new facility.
“The Backup Battery Energy Storage Facility project will support the operation of the Crosstown while addressing residents’ concerns about air quality in their community,” Potts said. “This project is an example of an innovative partnership between the government and the community—one that fulfills our mutual commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future for Ontario.”
Toronto Hydro has entered into an agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES) to design and build the LRT line’s battery energy storage facility.
The facility location is set to be at the same site where the future Mount Dennis Station and LRT maintenance and storage facility is currently being built, officials said.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Mount Dennis. Our community has advocated for a sustainable, creative solution since the beginning of Crosstown construction,” Albanese said. “The battery energy storage facility will provide a reliable power source for the LRT without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”
The new facility will store energy generated during off-peak hours at night and provide energy the next day to reduce energy use and cut the LRT’s emissions and operating costs.
The facility will also provide emergency power to the LRT line during possible power interruptions and help avoid service disruptions for passengers.
The 19-kilometre (11.8 miles) line is set to include 25 stations and connect to 54 bus routes, three subway stations and three GO Transit lines.
Officials said the LRT line is scheduled for completion by 2021.