Exploring pathways to net-zero: utilizing advanced energy system modelling to investigate the impact of long-duration energy storage on Nova Scotia's energy transition

This research project seeks to determine the potential role of long-duration energy storage in achieving a decarbonized electricity system in Nova Scotia by 2050. To this end, we plan to enhance the Atlantic Canada Energy System (ACES) Model, a long-term energy system optimization tool, by integrating advanced methodologies for accurately modeling long-duration energy storage.

Currently, the ACES Model employs representative days to simulate the behavior of the energy system. A recognized limitation of this approach is its inability to capture inter-day and seasonal dynamics, thereby falling short in accurately valuing long-duration energy storage1. Our project will address this limitation by incorporating a recently published mathematical modeling approach2, enabling the precise representation of long-duration energy storage within this framework.

To validate the enhanced model, we will conduct a comparative analysis of results obtained from full, hourly resolution simulations and those derived using representative days. This comparison will highlight the model's improved capability to accurately represent long-duration energy storage and its consequential impact on system operations.

In parallel, we will undertake a comprehensive literature review to gather techno-economic parameters of leading long-duration energy storage technologies. These data points will be utilized to characterize the selected long-duration energy storage technologies within the ACES Model.

Subsequently, we will execute a series of long-term optimization scenarios. These scenarios will explore diverse pathways towards a net-zero energy system in Nova Scotia by 2050, with a particular emphasis on the role of long-duration energy storage. The results will provide a profound understanding of how different storage technologies and strategies can contribute to the decarbonization of the energy system, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and realization of a sustainable future.

The primary outcomes of this research will include an enhanced open-source ACES Model capable of accurately modeling both short and long-duration energy storage, a comprehensive techno-economic assessment of various long-duration energy storage technologies, and a suite of model scenarios illustrating different paths towards a net-zero energy system. The modeling results will highlight the most promising long-duration energy storage technologies for decarbonizing our power system and thus inform decision makers where additional research and capital ought to be directed. These outcomes will inform policymakers, energy planners, and stakeholders, thereby accelerating Nova Scotia's transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.

1 For the purposes of this project, long-duration energy storage is defined as any energy storage technology with a storage duration of more than 24 hours.|
2 Kotzur, Leander, et al. "Time series aggregation for energy system design: Modeling seasonal storage." Applied Energy 213 (2018): 123-135.


Principal Investigator: Cameron Wade, Sutubra Research Inc.
Partner: Lukas Swan, Renewable Energy Storage Laboratory (Dalhousie University)

September 1, 2023 – March 30, 2025