State-of-the-art facility will help build the future of Canadian energy
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, Ryerson University, and the Ontario Ministry of Energy today officially unveiled the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Laboratory (SESG Lab) at Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) in Toronto. The facility, Canada’s first university-based smart grid laboratory, is now available to partners and collaborators seeking to test new products or operational strategies, validate grid transformation solutions, conduct research and train employees.
The Schneider Electric Smart Grid Laboratory was sponsored by the Ministry of Energy and funded in part through the Ontario Smart Grid Fund initiative.
“Building a smarter electricity grid is a key part of our government’s plan to modernize Ontario’s energy infrastructure and provide clean, reliable affordable power to consumers,” said Bob Chiarelli, Ontario Minister of Energy. “Supporting Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy, and the development of the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Lab, we are setting the stage for innovations that will be the backbone for our energy system for future generations.”
The SESG Lab can replicate the operation of a substation and feeders of an electrical utility distribution system. It has core infrastructure that supports organizations in the research and development of leading edge solutions and systems pertaining to smart grid technology.
“Smart grids are the future of power in Canada,” said Léonce Fraser, Vice President, Projects Execution Centre, Schneider Electric Canada. “Pilot projects and testing will play a key role in building out the smart grid and we want to help companies with smart grid products, utilities and educators build a better future for Canadian energy.”
PowerStream will be the first utility to make use of the SESG Lab by creating a physical replica of three feeders from its Greenwood transformer station in Vaughan. PowerStream will test their system under different renewable energy scenarios and explore practical solutions to challenges such as reverse flows on feeders. This will include the role of electricity storage devices in reducing line losses and increasing the capacity for renewable energy. The utility will also test how to reduce customer energy costs through leading-edge power controls.
“PowerStream has been a utility leader in the development and implementation of smart grid technologies for the benefit of our customers and communities we serve,” said Brian Bentz, CEO and President, PowerStream. “Our success has been largely due to the outstanding partners that have worked with us on many of these initiatives and we see the same unfolding for this project as well. We look forward to working with Ryerson University and Schneider Electric, and would like to thank the Government of Ontario for its support.”
In addition to acting as a facility for collaborative industrial research and testing, the SESG lab will give the next generation of smart grid engineers, scientists, planners and operators valuable hands-on experience in a utility environment. Colleges and universities can take advantage of the centre to provide real-world training for students, research innovative solutions and collaborate with industry.
“The Centre for Urban Energy is dedicated to solving urban energy problems and the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Lab provides an ideal opportunity for utilities and entrepreneurs to test new processes and products in a real-world environment,” said Sheldon Levy, President, Ryerson University. “It also provides a perfect setting for utilities to train their employees on new systems and for students to learn how the next-generation energy grid works.”
About the Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund
The Smart Grid Fund is a $50 million program that supports high-value opportunities to advance energy innovation in Ontario. Launched in April 2011, the Smart Grid Fund has supported eleven projects to-date, creating more than 600 direct and indirect jobs. Ontario’s Smart Grid is supported by 4.8 million smart meters installed in homes and businesses across the province. A smarter grid is better able to detect, prevent and restore outages, gives families and businesses more tools to manage their power use, and further reduces greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to connect renewable energy to the grid.
About the Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University
The Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) is an academic-industry partnership that is exploring and developing sustainable solutions to urban energy issues, such as the advancement of clean energy technologies, energy conservation and demand management, energy storage and smart infrastructure. www.ryerson.ca/cue
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Non-residential & Residential Buildings, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Utilities & Infrastructure and Data Centers & Networks. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the company's 170,000 employees achieved revenues of 30 billion US dollars in 2014, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy. www.schneider-electric.com/ca
PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 370,000 customers primarily residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan. www.PowerStream.ca