Compressed air energy storage shot down by town council

Councillor Carolyn Davies

Councillor Carolyn Davies

By Ron Giofu


The idea of having Amherstburg be a compressed air energy storage site was shot down as members of council were concerned over costs to study it.

Town council heard from University of Windsor associate professor Rupp Corriveau at the Jan. 20 meeting with Corriveau explaining the concept of compressed air energy storage and the possibility it could be a potential revenue generator for the region. He noted surplus energy from such projects as wind and solar can be stored in above or below grade options and used when needed or sold when the price is right.

Cost estimates for a feasibility study were pegged in the range of $25,000 to $50,000.

Councillor Carolyn Davies wanted the town to proceed with seeing if a feasibility study would be viable, believing Amherstburg would be a good fit to house surplus energy.

“There’s an opportunity to store energy when the price is low and sell it when the price is high,” she said.

Davies believed it would be “worthwhile to keep moving forward” with this concept as it has had “positive reviews from the experts we have spoken to.” She said she had already met with Corriveau, among others, on the topic.

“Although it sounds intriguing, I can’t support the motion for a number of reasons,” replied Councillor Diane Pouget.

Pouget pointed out town council has already sent correspondence to Premier Kathleen Wynne requesting that Amherstburg have a moratorium on wind turbines and believed adopting Davies’ motion would send a “mixed message.”

It would also be “a waste of administration’s time” to go forward with the idea, Pouget continued, adding that costs are a definite factor given the town’s financial situation.

“We don’t have any money and we have more pressing issues than this,” said Pouget.

Councillor John Sutton agreed with Pouget’s concerns over costs. Sutton said it is an outlay of money with no guarantee that any money will be coming back to the municipality and he said he would not support the motion without a definitive cost benefit analysis.

Davies said the motion was merely to have administration determine if it would be worthwhile to proceed.

“We won’t know unless we ask questions,” she said.

“Each and every time administration looks into something, it costs us money,” responded Pouget.


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