Peer groups can be powerful resources for anyone; at MaRS, I routinely see their value for our entrepreneurs. A group of like-minded individuals bouncing ideas around and providing support can be invaluable, especially when you’re breaking ground on a new sector like energy storage.
Long deemed the Holy Grail of renewable energy, energy storage continues to grow rapidly both here in Ontario and internationally. Energy storage can help stabilize the electricity grid by managing discrepancies between supply and demand, reducing the need to export energy and providing regulation services. The introduction of energy storage can also help alleviate the demands on aging infrastructure and increase longevity.
The market for energy storage, however, is complicated with many diffuse benefits. The organizations paying for energy storage systems are not necessarily the ones receiving the most (or any) benefits, while other organizations reap many advantages. It’s also an industry where one size does not fit all. Different technologies—such as batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, compressed air, hydrogen and thermal—all play their own part.
About two years ago, several of our energy storage entrepreneurs came together, assuming correctly that smart people working together would be able to crack some of the key challenges in the sector. What emerged is a fantastic organization: Energy Storage Ontario, the first energy storage-only alliance in Canada. The group’s mission is to drive advancements in the industry through collaboration, education, policy advocacy and research.
Energy Storage Ontario members include technology developers (like the ventures MaRS works with), as well as project developers, utilities, research groups, energy consultants, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and power generators. The organization works to engage all of the key energy storage players in the same conversation.
In order to continue growing the organization, especially in the face of increased activity in the sector (like the Canadian Energy Storage Supply Chain event that was held at MaRS on April 9), Energy Storage Ontario is welcoming a new executive director, Patricia Phillips.
Patricia has significant experience in the energy sector through her roles at Ontario Power Authority and Union Gas, as well as multiple consulting assignments. She also has a strong track record of achievement in the financial services sector and government. She has held senior roles in communications, public affairs and marketing, with a focus on reinforcing stakeholder connections and building brand relevance and recognition for organizations. She holds a master of business administration earned through the joint program between Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and York University’s Schulich School of Business.
Welcome, Patricia! We look forward to seeing the future of both Energy Storage Ontario and energy storage in Ontario.