Alaina Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, have announced a $10.8-million investment in a smart grid project. The initiative will see New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and Nova Scotia Power (NS Power) pilot new digital energy technologies, which will create 150 highly skilled jobs and reduce emissions by 2,800 tonnes annually by 2030 — all while lowering costs for consumers.
The Collaborative Grid Innovation for Atlantic Smart Energy Communities project involves piloting smart grid infrastructure and will make it easier to incorporate renewable energy onto the electricity grid in Shediac, New Brunswick, and Amherst, Nova Scotia.
In Shediac, 500 homes will be selected to test technologies such as smart meters, time-varying rates, smart thermostats, solar rooftops and in-home battery storage. The utility will also focus on potential cybersecurity issues posed by these connected devices.
In Amherst, the focus will be on commercial applications, including solar panels with battery storage on commercial buildings to help manage customer demand and reliability needs, and smart electric vehicle charging trials for optimal charging. The construction of two solar farms will also help power homes and businesses in the region.
NB Power and NS Power will also work with customers to manage energy consumption and test new electricity pricing options. Results and lessons learned from each utility will be shared across the two provinces.
This inter-provincial partnership — which is receiving funding through Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Grid Program — supports the commitment by the Atlantic premiers and the federal government to develop a Clean Power Roadmap for Atlantic Canada.
“These smart investments will not only ensure that families have lower energy costs, they will also create a stronger grid and help build better connections between communities. At the same time, incorporating renewables, smart meters and battery storage will significantly reduce emissions — something all families want to do,” said Alaina Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
According to Natural Resources Canada, “Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that reliable, affordable clean energy solutions are not a luxury but a necessity for Canada’s low-carbon future. The Government of Canada will continue to support clean energy initiatives that create jobs, support investment and industry competitiveness, advance our clean future and help realize our global climate change goals.”
“The project will contribute to building and growing a smart grid industry cluster in Atlantic Canada by supporting new business models and policy solutions. I am delighted to see that Amherst, in particular, will be the centre of this activity in Nova Scotia,” said Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland–Colchester, Nova Scotia
Gaëtan Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Brunswick Power added, “Our goal is to meet the future needs of our customers in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective way by gradually eliminating the remaining 20 to 25 percent of our power generation that is carbon producing while ensuring we protect our customers from the significant rate increases that have resulted from this transition elsewhere. The only way to have a fully renewable future is with the integration of smart grid technologies that ease the acceptance of small-scale renewables onto the grid, and this five-year pilot project will allow for testing the integration of small-scale solar power and battery storage along with other smart technologies into customers’ homes.”
“Our customers count on us for reliable, affordable and clean energy. As we continue to be a Canadian leader in reducing carbon emissions, we need innovative solutions to add new energy sources to our grid. Contingent on approval by our regulator, investing in the Amherst smart grid project will help us learn how to best incorporate new technologies to serve our customers while showcasing Amherst as a progressive, smart-energy community,” continued Karen Hutt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Power.