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IESO invests $6.8 MIL in wastewater, mining, software and more

“Innovative projects such as those funded through our Grid Innovation Fund offer real promise for the future of Ontario’s electricity sector.”

February 9, 2022  By  Anthony Capkun

February 9, 2022 – What do a wastewater project, a mining facility and deep retrofit software have in common?

They are among several projects benefiting from a $6.8-million investment from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator and its partners “to explore innovative approaches to help consumers conserve and manage energy”.

“Innovative projects such as those funded through our Grid Innovation Fund offer real promise for the future of Ontario’s electricity sector,” said Lesley Gallinger, IESO’s president & CEO. “By continuing to tap into the skills of Ontario’s talented innovators, we see a real opportunity for these projects to help consumers reduce energy costs, support economic growth and help ratepayers find value.”

Projects at a glance

Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility Upgrades – The upgrades will substitute traditional energy-intensive equipment with an energy-efficient biological membrane technology, which is expected to result in 30% lower energy demand. Partners include the Region of Waterloo, University of Waterloo, Ontario Clean Water Agency, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Research on Hydrogen Peroxide Dosing in Wastewater Treatment Plants – The potential of using H2O2 to reduce aeration energy needs in wastewater facilities will be tested. The amount of energy savings that hydrogen peroxide dosing can provide will be quantified; if successful, this approach could be used by wastewater facilities across the province to reduce energy consumption. Located in London, this project is a partnership between Western University, USP Technologies, Mitacs, and the Municipality of Middlesex Centre.

Building Sector GHG Emissions – This project will identify “viable pathways” to a GHG emissions-free building sector by 2050. It combines technical research with input from over 60 workshop participants representing Toronto’s real estate industry and community organizations. The insights from this work will form a vision document to inform decision-making by real estate owners, the marketing of energy management programs, as well as help the electricity sector plan for the decarbonization of the economy. Located in Toronto, this project is being undertaken by the Toronto 2030 District, in partnership with Coolearth Architecture, Purpose Building and The Transition Accelerator.

RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software – Existing software used by energy managers will be upgraded to allow them to analyze demand-response and load reduction capabilities of their systems. The upgrade will also include new deep retrofits archetypes that could result in up to 80% electricity cost savings. Headquartered in Ottawa, CanmetENERGY (a branch of Natural Resources Canada) leads this project with partners Oxford Properties, 3M Canada, District School Board of Niagara, Mohawk College, Town of Caledon, and City Housing Hamilton.

Community Energy Planning in Burlington – Helps communities meet their energy goals by developing an implementation approach that integrates stakeholder and utility engagement, identifies best practices, and provides a draft work plan. This project has the City of Burlington as its pilot community, and is a partnership with Pollution Probe, QUEST, Enbridge Gas, Burlington Electricity Services Inc., Canadian Renewable Energy Association, Waterloo Region Community Energy, Clean Air Council, and Clean Air Partnership.

Industrial Energy Management Information System – This project will demonstrate the use of an industrial EMIS using artificial intelligence at an Ontario mining facility to better understand—and more efficiently manage—all facets of its electricity consumption and peak demand. This project is by led Thorn Associates.

“The Grid Innovation Fund is helping Ontario use energy more efficiently and supporting innovation locally,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

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