Smart Grid Projects Building Smarter Energy Grid, Creating Jobs
A Smart Grid is a modern, intelligent province-wide electricity system. It uses advanced communications and control technology to improve the flexibility, reliability and efficiency of the electricity system.
Launched in 2011, Ontario's Smart Grid Fund is a $50 million program that supports innovative Ontario-based projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of smart grid solutions. Ontario's Smart Grid is supported by 4.7 million smart meters installed in homes and businesses across the province.
These projects are bringing the benefits of the smart grid to the people of Ontario, providing economic development opportunities and creating jobs. To date, the Smart Grid Fund has supported 11projects from various smart grid technology areas, involving partnerships from 12 electricity utilities. These projects are also supporting the creation of more than 600 direct and indirect jobs.
The initial round of Smart Grid Fund recipients and projects include:
- Ecobee's Smart Thermostat tracks energy use and tells consumers how they can save energy and money over time. Consumer information is also sent from the Thermostats to local utilities to help them manage the system more efficiently.
- Energate is developing tools that make it easier for consumers to monitor and manage their home energy use and costs. Energate's software, mobile applications, and devices - like smart thermostats and in-home energy displays - also help to manage the system by reducing peak demand.
- Enbala's software platform is helping Ontario to maintain grid reliability. By connecting a network of large-scale commercial and industrial consumers to their software platform, they can automatically increase or decrease electricity consumption in response to second by second changes in the electricity needs of the grid. This will help Ontario integrate its renewable energy sources more efficiently.
- IBM is creating a research collaboration centre that will use and analyze smart meter data. The project will use this data to identify ways to improve conservation and shift usage away from peak times.
- Prolucid's project gives local distribution companies more automated control over the management of their systems by pinpointing outages and system faults bygathering better data in real time.
- N-Dimensions is developing cyber security solutions to help ensure data gathered from smart meter collector systems remains protected and secure.
- Essex Energy Corp. is developing software to integrate data sources from a variety of technologies, including smart meters, to monitor the state of the electricity distribution system and alert operators to system problems.
- dTechs is installing 2225 high resolution wireless sensors on the medium voltage supply in Oakville to help the utility detect issues on their grid, making the system more efficient and reliable.
- General Electric's Grid IQ Centre is a facility designed to support research and innovation to improve the efficiency, reliability and security of the electricity grid.
- Team Ontario is a collaboration of 100 students from Carleton University, Algonquin College and Queen's University. The team built ECHO, a smart home that produces as much electricity as it consumes. Team Ontario showcased ECHO at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
- Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Energy will build a smart grid laboratory. The laboratory will provide a collaborative facility for testing and demonstrating Smart Grid ideas and products for Ontario institutions.