The Government of Canada is using Canada's natural resource advantage to enhance its competitiveness and build a low-carbon economy. This includes efforts to modernize the electric infrastructure by incorporating renewable energy and training a smart grid–capable workforce to create middle-class jobs for Canadians.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, has announced a $10.7-million investment in a battery- and solar-powered smart grid project that will improve electricity delivery, reduce pollution and create jobs in Edmonton.
Led by EPCOR, Edmonton's water and electrical utility provider, the project at the E. L. Smith Water Treatment Plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supplying electricity from a nearby solar facility.
Installing the 6MW battery storage system with better management controls and improved monitoring will create up to 20 temporary and three permanent jobs during construction and for ongoing operations. Upon completion, the project will result in operational savings for the company and ratepayers. The new battery storage system will also ensure a more resilient and reliable power grid.
The project is being developed through a partnership with the Alberta Smart Grid Consortium, which consists of Alberta's electricity distribution companies, Alberta Innovates and Alberta Department of Energy with a goal to accelerate the development and deployment of smart grid initiatives in Alberta. Once operational, the system will be capable of operating independently as a micro-grid to provide improved electricity supply to the water treatment plant in the event of a loss of power.
Federal funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada's Smart Grid Program, which provides investments to utilities to reduce pollution and better use existing electricity assets while encouraging innovation. An additional $1.9 million in funding will be provided by Alberta Innovates, a provincially funded corporation that supports research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
"A system that integrates renewables, increases energy storage and improves monitoring is the definition of 'smart.' Better training for our workforce is critical for Canada's clean economy and will enable new skills development for utility workers, building a stronger workforce."
"Smart cities are powered by smart electrical grids, which will need innovative energy storage solutions. A broad group of players in the Smart Grid Consortium has come together to accelerate the solutions that can be widely deployed in the province. We're delighted to support this initiative as it moves into full demonstration in Edmonton," said Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates.