US, Canada utilities aim to link three microgrids in $12.4M cross-border project

Dive Brief:

  • Three utilities have formed a consortium with three technology companies and an academic institution in a $12.4 million project to link three microgrids in Maine and eastern Canada into a “transactive energy” scheme.

  • Emera Maine, Nova Scotia Power and Toronto Hydro are teaming up with Opus One Solutions, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Smarter Grid Solutions and the Center for Urban Energy at Ryerson University for the project, which aims to demonstrate how microgrids can save money and aid in integrating renewable energy into the grid.

  • The utilities will contribute most of the funding for the project with $4.1 million coming from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Dive Insight:

As microgrids go, this project is big. The $12.4 million microgrid scheme devised a consortium that includes Emera Maine, Nova Scotia Power and Toronto Hydro will comprise three projects, all of them linked together by Opus One software.

Emera Maine will combine solar power, battery storage and backup diesel generators at its operations center in Hampden, which controls its grid and its interactions with the New England ISO.

Nova Scotia Power will build a microgrid with wind power and both grid-scale and residential energy storage. And Toronto Hydro plans to integrate a series of microgrids designed to help distributed energy resources support local grid operations.

The overall project aims to demonstrate the ability of microgrids to trade power resources, provide load relief and help lower voltage in order to save money.

Together the consortium intends to show how advanced technology can be used to provide technical and economic signals to manage the exchange of electricity, which has been called “transactive energy.”

"This project not only will lower energy costs and increase reliability …. it will help us to manage distribution feeder load in the area, which will potentially defer the need for distribution investments,” Alan Richardson, president and chief operating officer of Emera Maine, said in a statement.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Technology Corporate News