Fort Chipewyan is an isolated community in Canada that is not connected to the main power grid. The community, which used to rely on diesel for power generation, is now home to the country’s largest community solar and storage microgrid project. Before the microgrid, diesel fuel was the source for all electricity production but since delivery of fuel depends on a shrinking window of winter ice road access, a new solution for electricity was needed.
The microgrid was developed in cooperation with ATCO and Hitachi ABB Power Grids. It consists of approximately 2.6 MW of solar PV generation capacity and 1600kVA/1600kWh in battery energy storage and microgrid controls. The BESS will store excess solar generation during the day to be returned to the grid to meet evening demand or subsequent cloudy day. In all, the project reduces diesel consumption by 800,000 liters per year and allows Fort Chipewyan to be 100% powered by clean renewable energy.