Energy Manager

New Brunswick invests in smart grid technology project

The Government of New Brunswick announced today that it is working on an electricity demonstration project by NB Power that uses smart grid technology. The province will be working with the other Maritime provinces, as well the federal government and a number of communities.


“Smart grid technology holds great opportunity for New Brunswick,” said Energy Minister Jack Keir. “NB Power and our provincial information and communications technology industry are doing innovative work in this area.”


The goal of the four-year project, known as PowerShift Atlantic, is to examine how changing patterns in energy consumption can help utilities transform energy production to reduce greenhouse gases. The government says up to 2,000 customers will have new data on consumption that will help them use less electricity and, in the process, lower their power bills.


“Investments in clean energy technologies are a key part of our balanced approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and positioning Canada at the forefront of clean energy technology,” said National Revenue Minister Keith Ashfield. “Our government is investing in this smart grid project to encourage clean energy innovation and to help create high-quality jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”


The total investment being made is up to $32 million. The federal government is investing up to $15.9 million through the Clean Energy Fund, while the provincial government is contributing more than $2 million.


The project will help Maritime utilities understand how to make the best use of renewable energy resources. It will help to combine the latest digital smart grid technology for managing the delivery of renewable electricity in the region. It will also enable these utilities to understand better how customers will react to smart grid technologies and which electricity loads can be managed better by real-time demand. The utilities could have new power system options, says the government, resulting in operating savings and environmental benefits.


As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Clean Energy Fund is investing $795 million in clean energy technology development and demonstration over five years. Federal government support will help launch nearly 20 projects under the renewable and clean energy portion of the Clean Energy Fund, totalling up to $146 million. Three carbon capture and storage projects have also been announced, totalling $466 million.

July 23, 2010  By  John Gilson

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