Canadian utility PUC Distribution has selected Black & Veatch for the design and implementation of a smart grid project to enhance the resilience of the energy system for a community in Marie, Ontario.
The Sault Smart Grid project is expected to be operational by late 2022 to enable the utility to provide voltage optimisation and distribution automation services.
With voltage optimisation, PUC Distribution will be able to regulate the capacity distributed to consumers and in the process avoid electricity wastage and losses.
Distribution automation will enable the utility to leverage data acquired from sensors installed across the grid to embed intelligence for grid reliability and resilience. The capability will enable functionalities such as self-healing during disruptions on the network.
PUC Distribution says the project will allow an increasing amount of distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, energy storage and electric vehicles to be integrated on the grid. This will help increase flexible capacity that can be used to enable the utility to expand its portfolio of clean energy and move away from conventional energy generation and in the process prepare for future business cases.
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In addition, the project is expected to improve consumer energy efficiency, utility’s outage management, customer services and PUC Distribution’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a statement.
Gary Johnson, Black & Veatch’s regional director, said: “As the energy sector evolves, with broader investments in decarbonisation, reliability, and resiliency, this comprehensive smart grid initiative represents the promise of lowering generation and distribution costs while propelling the community’s modernisation.”
Smart grids have become a basis for optimal utility operations and are critical for energy market sustainability, according to Juniper Research in a new whitepaper the company has released. The firm states that by deploying smart grid technologies, global utilities can save 1,000TWh of capacity by 2026, and sustainability goals are driving an increase in the rollout of such technologies.
To ensure energy security, consumer energy efficiency and to manage the grid in real-time, Juniper Research predicts global utilities to spend over $38 billion annually by 2026, from $12 billion in 2021 in smart grid capabilities.
Find out more about the report.