Ontario community owned energy company PowerStream has launched a microgrid demonstration at its head office in Vaughan, with the aim to evaluate microgrid performance while it is connected to, and also disconnected from, the provincial grid.
The demonstration marks the next phase in the company’s efforts to support smart grid development at the provincial level and leverage innovative ‘smart’ technologies in Ontario’s electricity sector, a company statement reads.
PowerStream believes that microgrids will be an integral part of Ontario’s energy future, not only changing the way electricity is distributed, but also in providing an innovative solution to the challenge of asset renewal in large scale electricity delivery systems and demonstrating how renewable energy can effectively help to address the growing demand for electricity.
“We believe that microgrid technology will help provide our customers with additional safe, sustainable and reliable choices for meeting their energy needs in the future.” said Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. “This is why PowerStream is on the forefront of testing the use of this technology.”
PowerStream is implementing its microgrid in two phases. In phase one, which is currently in place, the company is drawing electricity from several sources – a solar array, wind turbine, natural-gas generator, solar-assisted carport charging station as well as lead acid, lithium ion and sodium nickel chloride batteries – in order to provide electricity for loads at its head office building such as lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration as well as to provide charging for its fleet of electric vehicles.
Other corporate partners involved in the demonstration project include Enbridge, Enviro-Energy Technologies, General Electric, Navigant, Rosewater Energy, renewz sustainable solutions and SMA.