The Kluane Lake Research Station, in partnership with High Latitude Energy Consulting and Thor Hydrogen, is exploring the expansion of its renewable energy system to allow for increased load and expansion to year-round operation. The KLUANE RH2 project will demonstrate how a remote facility may operate year-round on renewable energy when paired with hydrogen storage.
A core ambition of the research station is to acquire further scientific equipment and expand station operations into the winter. These upgrades will allow for heightened research opportunities for visiting researchers and the Ag1054 hydroponic growing project.
The KLUANE RH2 system will consist of energy generation (solar photovoltaic), energy storage & delivery (water electrolysis + hydrogen storage + fuel cell), and energy demand (facility) with the objective of making a clear case for seasonal energy storage via hydrogen. This real-world example will showcase a complete renewable energy ecosystem, providing reliable, year-round power – even in a challenging northern Canadian climate.
The challenge of long duration energy storage is universal for the purpose of capturing energy from renewable energy systems with high levels of variability. This challenge is heightened in northern isolated communities of Canada, where frequent environmental, social, and economic issues are routinely faced surrounding energy supply. With diesel as the primary source for electrical power, communities pay high energy costs, experience routine energy system failures, and face serious barriers related to community expansion and energy security. These obstacles shine light on the necessity for long duration energy storage as an alternative to GHG emitting energy sources in the northern communities of Canada.
Given the unique nature of this type of energy storage microgrid in Canada (and globally) the project will act as a demonstrator, defining viable, scalable, renewable energy generation and storage concepts. In doing so, KLUANE RH2 will produce valuable insights and data to inform and shape future northern community initiatives. To ensure that the potential and success of KLUANE RH2 is fully captured, research institutions from University of Calgary, University of Victoria, and University of Ottawa, are to employ students to study the key elements of the project. Research will entail the study the full scope of the project and reveal its potential for application beyond the Kluane Lake Research Station.
High Latitude Energy Consulting was formed to explore northern renewable energy opportunities and meet energy stewardship goals. Through the completion of high-level technical feasibility studies, Hilat aims is to provide confidence in making large scale, innovative renewable energy investment decisions and drive projects to construction in Indigenous, Public, and Private Sector markets. Their parent company, Solvest was responsible for installation and design of the existing energy system at KLRS.
Thor Hydrogen is a developer and integrator of hydrogen production, storage, and delivery systems powered by renewable energies. Experience gained from over 20 years in the oil & gas sector is now being utilized to enable long-duration energy storage for proven renewable technologies. With detailed insight and broad connections across the hydrogen industry, Thor is working on the hydrogen component integration of this energy system expansion.
The KLUANE RH2 project is currently in the feasibility phase, with plans to begin detailed design in the fall of 2023.