Smart Grid: Schneider test bed project opens in Ontario university


1425404800469In Canada, the new Schneider Electric Smart Grid laboratory at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Energy in Toronto, was officially opened this week.

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.

Its core infrastructure will support organisations in the research and development of leading smart grid technologies.

Léonce Fraser, vice president, Projects Execution Centre, Schneider Electric Canada, said: “Smart grids are the future of power in Canada.

“Pilot projects and testing will play a key role in building out the smart grid and we want to help companies with smart grid products, utilities and educators build a better future for Canadian energy.”

Smart Grid developments in practice

According to AltEnergyMag, 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.

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.”

Modernizing Ontario’s energy infrastructure

The Schneider Electric Smart Grid Laboratory was sponsored by the Ministry of Energy and partly funded by the Ontario Smart Grid Fund initiative.

Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Energy, added: “Building a smarter electricity grid is a key part of our government’s plan to modernize Ontario’s energy infrastructure and provide clean, reliable affordable power to consumers.

“Supporting Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy, and the development of the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Lab, we are setting the stage for innovations that will be the backbone for our energy system for future generations.”

Picture credit: Ryerson University