Natural Resources Canada announced an investment of $10.7 million as part of a federal program to invest in green infrastructure, particularly those involving smart grid systems.

Canada Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said: “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.”

In addition, Alberta Innovates announced a $1.9 million investment as part of its Clean Energy program.

Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Kilcrease said: “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.”

These investments in a smart grid system will help EPCOR continue its commitment to reducing emissions and energy consumption from non-renewable sources by adopting new energy technologies.

EPCOR president and CEO Stuart Lee said: “EPCOR is pleased to partner with Natural Resources Canada and Alberta Innovates to advance efforts to build a clean energy economy.

“This smart grid system is an example of environmental stewardship, economic benefit and innovation converging.”

The smart grid system will consist of the proposed solar farm, a battery storage system and intelligent controls and monitoring capabilities to optimize grid operation. It will add resiliency to the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant and reduce reliance on the electrical grid.

The project also offers opportunities to enhance education and awareness of large-scale renewable energy and smart grid technology – allowing Alberta students and the general public access to solar technology that they otherwise would not receive.

Before proceeding, the proposed E.L. Smith solar farm project will require approvals from the Alberta Utilities Commission and the City of Edmonton. The project aligns with the City’s The Way We Green environmental strategic plan, and if approved, will generate renewable energy to help power the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Company Press Release