Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy set to sign new MOU

Ryerson centre for urban energy
Opened in 2010, the Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy is funded by Ontario utilities, private sector companies such as Schneider Electric and government smart grid funds

In microgrid news, Canada’s Ryerson University has signed a memorandum of understanding with an Indian-owned technology company Tech Mahindra to conduct joint research.

Being formalised this week, the agreement will see the research and development of microgrid technology at the Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy based in Toronto, Ontario.

Tech Mahindra, part of the Mumbai-based Mahindra multinatinal group, and Ryerson University are holding a short briefing and facility tour today to showcase how the pair will collaborate to test, analyse and deploy microgrid technology.

Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy

Opened in 2010, the Ryerson Centre for Urban Energy was created with funding from principal sponsors – local utilities Toronto Hydro, Hydro One and the Ontario Power Authority.

The centre currently is home to 34 projects conducted by 70 researchers worth a total of CAD18.9 million.

Smart grid laboratory

In March 2015, Schneider Electric became an additional sponsor to the centre with the opening of the Schneider Electric Smart Grid laboratory.

Created through a collaboration between the Ministry of Energy, Schneider Electric and Ryerson University, the laboratory is available to partners and collaborators looking to “test new products or operational strategies, validate grid transformation solutions, conduct research and train employees” for smart grid technology.

The Schneider Electric Smart Grid lab is Canada’s first university-based smart grid testbed and has the infrastructure to replicate the operation of a substation and feeders of an electrical distribution system.

Canadian utility PowerStream will be the first to use the smart grid lab, and will create replica of three feeders from its Greenwood transformer station in Vaughan.

The utility will test their existing system under various renewable energy scenarios and research practical solutions to challenges eg. reverse flows on feeders.

Testing energy storage

PowerStream will also test the viability of energy storage devices to reduce line losses and increase renewable energy capacity. Power control testing will also assist the utility to evaluate how to reduce customer energy costs.

Brian Bentz, CEO and president, PowerStream commented: “PowerStream has been a utility leader in the development and implementation of smart grid technologies for the benefit of our customers and communities we serve.”

Sheldon Levy, President, Ryerson University added: “It also provides a perfect setting for utilities to train their employees on new systems and for students to learn how the next-generation energy grid works.”

Other private and public investors in the centre are Canadian operational intelligence company Survalent Technology and Canadian lithium-ion battery manufacturer Electrovaya.