Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — April 28, 2011 – The Ontario government has announced that it is investing $50 million in a Smart Grid Fund that will advance the development of the province’s smart grid and provide economic development opportunities, as well as give families and businesses more control over how and when they use electricity.
The Fund, one of a number of initiatives the Ontario government is undertaking to bring more clean power online, will offer targeted financial support to Ontario-based projects that are testing, demonstrating and commercializing the next generation of smart grid solutions and building market competitiveness. Further, the Fund will enhance Ontario’s reputation as an attractive jurisdiction for investing in, developing, manufacturing and implementing smart grid technologies.
The Fund has two project categories:
- Capacity-building projects, which will help organizations acquire and operationalize assets for developing and producing smart grid solutions. These assets will support product engineering, prototyping, development, demonstration, testing and commercialization, but not early stage research. Capacity building projects will also enhance Ontario’s ability to manufacture and develop smart grid products, services and solutions, strengthening this growing sector and creating jobs.
- Demonstration projects, which will advance the development and design of pilot scale prototypes of smart grid technologies. In cooperation with local distribution companies, demonstration projects will help identify risks, opportunities and costs associated with integrating smart grid technology into the electricity system and test whether specific technologies can be used on a larger scale.
Other initiatives that the Ontario government is undertaking to manage the costs of turning on more clean, reliable power include taking 10 percent off monthly electricity bills for families, farms and small businesses over the next five years with the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit – amounting to a saving of about $150 per year for the average household.
In addition starting May 1, the off-peak period electricity rates will begin at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. on weekdays, giving time-of-use customers 10 extra hours per week at the lowest rate.
“Ontario is building a clean, reliable electricity system that families and businesses can depend on today and into the future,” said energy minister Brad Duguid. “As we make these crucial investments, we are helping Ontarians with their electricity bills and giving them more tools to manage their electricity use.”
Building a smart grid is a key element of Ontario’s long-term energy plan, which is aimed at revitalizing the province’s electricity system, cleaning up its air by shutting down coal-fired power, and keeping the lights on in homes and businesses.
The deadline for applications to the Smart Grid Fund is May 27.