PowerON is designing, building, operating, maintaining, co-investing and owning all electrification infrastructure to support electrification of the TTC bus fleet and facilities.
In 2019 the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Canada’s largest municipal transit agency, came to PowerON with the ambitious goal of fully electrifying its bus fleet by 2035. The transition of its fleet of over 2200 buses to 100 per cent zero-emissions technology is would become North America’s largest, most ambitious transit electrification project.
Achieving this however, would require overcoming multiple challenges; including getting sufficient electricity to its sites, ensuring the reliability needed for revenue service, and the space constraints of the TTC’s facilities.
To address these challenges, PowerON began with overseeing detailed feasibility studies for each of the TTC’s eight garages based on a deep understanding of the TTC’s unique operational needs. The output of these studies enabled PowerON to develop a phased electrification plan that would minimize risk and support change management across the TTC’s operations and with external stakeholders.
We are now executing on that plan, in which PowerON’s scope includes installation of chargers, battery storage, backup generation, and operation of the energy management system that ties them all together.
Phase I of PowerON and the TTC’s 15 year construction schedule is underway at several of the TTC’s facilities with chargers already operating at TTC Birchmount and more coming online through 2023.
buses electrified by 2037
megawatts plus of power demand per site
TTC facilities electrified
Centralized Rectification Proof of Concept
PowerON has installed and is operating Canada’s first centralized rectification transit bus charger at the TTC’s Birchmount facility. The 1.5MW charger feeds 10 automatic pantographs that charge at speeds of up to 150kW per dispenser, and can be expanded to support the charging needs of twenty buses at 75kW simultaneously.
The installation is also unique for the fact that the charger and all dispensers are located outside in the Birchmount yard, rather than inside the facility. This enables PowerON and the TTC to prove the performance of both the chargers and buses in real-world weather conditions.
Centralized rectification charging is key to the TTC’s electrification strategy because it requires only half the footprint of traditional cabinet-style chargers in facilities where space is at a premium.
PowerON has consistently demonstrated an ability to understand our operational needs as a transit operator and apply their electricity infrastructure and market knowledge to advance novel approaches to meeting those needs as we move towards electric transit.Bem CaseExecutive Director, Innovation and Sustainability, TTC
IESO-funded Battery Storage Grid Innovation
PowerON will deploy battery energy storage systems and an artificial intelligence-driven charging management system that maximizes return on investment by:
- managing peak demand on Ontario’s power system, and
- shifting electricity consumption to lower-cost periods.
This innovative project will, for the first time in Canada, leverage battery storage that is intended primarily for transit operations reliability, to also provide back-up power to the broader electricity system. It will save money for both the TTC and for electricity ratepayers as the battery storage can be used to provide benefits to both systems, avoiding infrastructure duplication.