Smart grid industry gets stimulus in Ontario


Chris Bentley,
Minister of Energy,
Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — June 11, 2012 – A Clean Energy Institute is to be launched in Ontario bringing together industry leaders and utility companies to build on Ontario’s strengths in smart grid technologies and other clean energy innovations.

The institute, which is being created in partnership with the innovation support organization MaRS, will help support and expand domestic and international business opportunities and position Ontario to capitalize on the $250 billion clean energy industry.

“This is an exciting time for Ontario. We have worked hard to create clean energy jobs and a strong manufacturing base in this sector,” said Chris Bentley, Minister of Energy. “The Clean Energy Institute will help us find new ways to expand on our progress.”

The creation of the Institute forms part of the Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy, which is aimed to position the province as a global leader in key areas of the energy sector including smart metering and smart grids.

Smart grid fund
A key commitment under the Strategy is to deliver on the Smart Grid Fund, to support private sector investment in projects that will test, develop and bring to market the next generation of smart grid solutions.

The 13 recipients are (by program category):
Behind the meter projects:

  • Ecobee is placing smart in-office displays in 300 small and medium sized commercial buildings to demonstrate energy and operational savings that can be achieved using a web-based energy management system.
  • Energate is placing hundreds of smart energy management in-home displays to demonstrate their integration with AMI and to test their ability to help grid operators manage the system.

Integrating distributed energy resources projects:

  • Enbala is connecting 90 different commercial and industrial loads to the Enbala Power Network to test the capacity of the network to serve as a grid management tool.

Regional integration projects:

  • Siemens is building a control center for three utilities, in the Region of Durham smart grid demo, to enable interaction, control, dispatching, monitoring, asset condition assessment, and load modeling/control/balancing of their systems.
  • Burlington Electricity Services is establishing a mixed residential-commercial community that integrates a variety of smart grid technologies, e.g. distribution automation, increased distributed generation capacity, and home energy management.

Data management projects:

  • IBM is creating a research collaboration center that will use and analyze smart meter data. The project will leverage this data to identify ways to improve conservation and shift usage away from peak times.
  • Prolucid is developing, testing and gathering data in real time to give local distribution companies more automated control over managing their systems by pinpointing outages and finding fault responses.
  • N-Dimensions is demonstrating cyber security capabilities for smart meter collector systems.
  • Essex Energy Corp. is constructing a software system that will integrate data sources from a variety of technologies (including existing smart meters) to monitor the state of the distribution system and alert operators to system problems.

Grid automation projects:

  • RuggedCom is developing new distribution energy management infrastructure that will support and encourage the wide scale adoption of smart grid, renewable energy and electric vehicle solutions.
  • RuggedCom is creating a demo of open standards-based real time two-way broadband communications for the smart grid.
  • dTechs is installing 225 high resolution wireless sensors on the medium voltage supply at Oakville Hydro to help the utility detect issues on their grid.
  • GE is building a facility for research and development in substation and distribution automation, transmission protection and control.

Collectively these projects are creating almost 860 new jobs.