AltaLink Donates Power System Simulator for Education

Oct. 6, 2016
New learning tool made possible through $760,000 donation.

Electrical Engineering Technology students at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) are energized for the future, thanks to a new power system simulator funded by AltaLink.

The equipment — made possible through a $760,000 donation from AltaLink — is the first of its kind to be used in a Canadian post-secondary institution. The power system simulator provides a unique learning experience for students, giving them an unprecedented career-ready experience.

“It’s another first for SAIT,” says Dr. David Ross, SAIT president and CEO. “AltaLink is a tremendous partner who believes in action-based learning. Thanks to them, this generous gift will help ensure our students have relevant job experience that gives them a competitive advantage. With the power system simulator our graduates will be career ready with the skills today’s industry demands.”

(L to R) Scott Thon, President and CEO of AltaLink; SAIT Electrical Engineering Technology student Braden Hanna; and Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO; pose in front of SAITs new leading-edge power system simulator funded by AltaLink.

By modeling the management of electricity from a variety of energy sources including wind, solar, natural gas, coal and nuclear, students are able to simulate various electrical scenarios. Using realistic and real-time scenarios, the simulator and supporting curriculum teaches students how to expertly deliver power to industrial, commercial and residential consumers in a way that’s safe and cost-effective. Additionally, students will be able to simulate the incorporation of intermittent, renewable sources of generation, like wind and solar, while maintaining grid stability.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be able to support SAIT’s students and prepare them for a career in the electrical industry,” said Scott Thon, President and CEO of AltaLink. “As our province shifts to a greener future, technology such as the AltaLink power system simulator will help us understand how the grid can enable our transition to renewables and position our province as a leader in the energy sector.”

The AltaLink simulator will be housed in SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy — the first school of energy in Canada and one of only a handful of energy schools in North America. The power system simulator is added to SAIT’s roster of high-tech, hands-on learning tools, which includes drilling, crane and health care patient simulators.

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