In Canada, Ontario provincial government has earmarked US$24 million in funding for smart grid projects in a bid to create new jobs.
The investment will support 17 new energy projects running through Ontario’s Smart Grid Fund, according to local media reports.
The province will provide almost US$24 million, supporting about US$54 million in total electricity sector investment, expecting to create more than 350 jobs.
This round of funding will support advanced energy technology projects in the areas of:
- Energy storage: to allow energy to be stored and brought back to the grid on request to balance system needs.
- Electric vehicle integration: to assist customers and utilities in managing the unique electricity system challenges associated with electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
- Behind the Meter: to enable two-way information exchange between consumer and the utility in order to improve system efficiency and consumer cost management.
- Microgrids: to help localized groups of electricity generation, energy storage, and loads that function autonomously from the main electricity grid function more efficiently.
- Grid automation: to use innovative software and hardware to help the system operator remotely control and manage the electricity grid.
- Data analytics: to find new ways to use data generated by smart meters and other electricity grid assets to help improve investment decisions and system performance.
Government smart grid support
The $50 million Smart Grid Fund is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. Launched in April 2011, the Smart Grid Fund has supported eleven projects to-date, creating more than 600 direct and indirect jobs.
Ontario’s Smart Grid is supported by 4.8 million smart meters installed in homes and businesses across the province.
Bob Chiarelli, minister of energy, said: “Ontario’s commitment to supporting leading-edge Ontario-based smart-grid projects is helping to create Ontario jobs and make Ontario a North American leader in emerging energy technologies.
“These projects represent an investment that will have long-term positive impacts on the energy sector’s contribution to developing innovative technologies, fostering economic development and promoting job creation.”