A project to store renewable energy is being developed in Nova Scotia and once developed, could pave the way for electricity generation from wind power to be stored.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger was in Brooklyn, Queens Co., today, July 29, to take part in an event highlighting the technology that is supported in part by COMFIT, the Community Feed-In Tariff Program.

"Creating a system that can store large amounts of renewable energy will have a positive impact all over the world," said Mr. Younger. "By storing clean energy such as wind power, we will be able to use this electricity when it's needed."

The capability to store wind energy in a harsh environment is being researched and developed in Nova Scotia by LightSail Energy. The technology is the invention of Dartmouth native Danielle Fong, LightSail's co-founder and chief scientist.

Ms. Fong, who enrolled at Dalhousie University at age 12 before beginning a PhD in plasma physics at Princeton University when she was 17, has received financial support for her work from the provincial government, Bill Gates, Total Energy of France, and Innovacorp.

The project is being developed at ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc. in Brooklyn, former site of Bowater Mersey Mill.

"LightSail Energy is very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this exciting project," said Ms. Fong. "This project will be a landmark and a world first; providing inexpensive, reliable wind power, available on demand, around-the-clock, delivered to the grid to power Nova Scotia businesses and homes.

"I want to thank our collaborators, the people and government of Nova Scotia, for their vision, inventiveness, foresight and hard work. Thank you for your help in building a better future together. Hopefully, we will show the world how an economical, environmentally friendly, electrical grid will someday be powered."

Ms. Fong's technology will allow for a clean method to store large amounts of wind energy.
Traditionally, the use of wind energy has been dependent on how hard the wind was blowing on any given day. With this latest breakthrough from LightSail, wind energy can be stored and used whenever it is needed.

The wind energy used for this project will come from wind turbines installed by Watts Wind, as part of a 3.6 megawatt project through the Department of Energy's COMFIT program. The turbines will be constructed five kilometres from the former Bowater site by the summer of 2016. Watts Wind will work with LightSail to take excess energy and store it until periods of low wind.

The ReNova Scotia Bioenergy site is currently being redeveloped under the guidance of Innovacorp to serve as a research and development centre.

The project will be connected to the electrical grid under the Nova Scotia COMFIT program. The research and development component of the initiative will be supported by Unify Energy, which plans to work closely with researchers from Dalhousie, the University of New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Community College to develop electrical and thermal management systems to optimize energy output and control.

The Nova Scotia COMFIT program encourages community-based, local renewable energy projects and sustainable initiatives by guaranteeing a rate per kilowatt-hour for the energy the project feeds into the province's electrical grid.

For more information, please contact:

Darcy MacRae
Nova Scotia Energy

Nova Scotia, July 29, 2014