Lockheed Martin has announced that it will be directing $9 million U.S. dollars toward TC Energy’s Saddlebrook Solar + Storage Project. TC Energy is a Canada-based energy infrastructure company. The investment is in conjunction with Emissions Reduction Alberta who are providing partial funding. This will enable TC Energy to construct a hybrid power plant consisting of a utility-scale solar facility and long-duration flow battery energy storage system in Alberta. This pilot project will aid the region’s sustainability and decarbonization efforts and is expected to be the largest flow battery energy storage facility in Alberta.

The investment exemplifies how defence procurement projects serve as a catalyst for innovation, critical research, and development. Lockheed Martin’s investment falls under Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. It is one of many made across Canada and associated with Canada’s purchase and in-service support of 17 CC-130J Super Hercules aircraft. These aircraft were delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force from 2010 through 2012.

“In addition to supporting Canada’s national security interests, our teams are focused on partnerships and collaboration that secure a brighter future through investments that will play a central role in Canada’s economic stability and provide for growth in the decades ahead.  We’re proud to bring this sustainable energy project to life with TC Energy,” said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada.

Bifacial solar panels will be used to generate power in the Saddlebrook Solar + Storage Project. Once complete, the installation is expected to provide up to 102.5 megawatts (MW) of solar power.  This will  create enough electricity to fuel approximately 30,000 homes.

Lockheed Martin has also entered a teaming agreement with TC Energy.  This will provide the project with its long-duration GridStar® Flow energy storage system. It is expected that the system will have an output capacity of up to 6.5 MW and an output duration of up to eight hours. Using GridStar Flow, the project will store power generated from the solar farm and dispatch it to Alberta’s electricity system during peak demand periods. The combination of the solar installation and GridStar Flow are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants while providing reliable, emissions-free energy to the grid.

Corey Hessen, TC Energy senior vice-president and president, Power, Storage & Commercial Marketing  said, “energy storage is the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy and aiding in decarbonizing Alberta’s electricity grid. This investment represents a significant contribution and we’re looking forward to advancing this innovative pilot project.”

Lockheed Martin and TC Energy are also working with the University of Calgary to perform additional research on the Saddlebrook Solar + Storage Project. This research aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of a large-scale solar plus storage generation facility and inform similar sustainable energy projects across Canada.

“In collaboration with Lockheed Martin and TC Energy, our researchers will conduct ground-breaking energy research in pursuit of shared sustainability goals. This partnership ensures UCalgary will continue to be a leader in transforming the energy landscape for a cleaner, more efficient future,” said Dr. William Ghali, vice president, research at the University of Calgary.

$10 million in Cash Available for Distribution has also been awarded to this innovative project. This funding comes through the Emissions Reduction Alberta Biotechnology, Electricity, & Sustainable Transportation Challenge. For further details please visit: https://eralberta.ca/archive-stories/eras-best-challenge/.