In Canada, the state government of Ontario province has announced a new round of project applications for its Smart Grid Fund.
The CAD50 million (US$38 million) programme launched in 2011 is seeking projects for the latest round of funding that fulfil certain criteria.
The Ministry of Energy said it will consider applications for consumer-focused initiatives that seek to optimize smart technologies and systems by involving customers as active energy sector participants
Self-healing grids that can perform fault location, isolation and service restoration using automated technologies and communication systems is another priority together with enhanced fault prevention that can precisely detect faults while protecting equipment and enabling faster response.
Other types of project include:
- Automated voltage control solutions to automatically track, operate, and optimise voltage levels on feeders
- Dynamic capacity rating that accurately monitors line conditions in real time
- Microgrid solutions in either urban or remote settings
- Distributed energy resources monitoring and control, enabling more effective and efficient integration of these types of assets onto distribution systems
- Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that improves accuracy and security of meter reading and enhances the utility's ability to manage its system.
The Smart Grid Fund supports projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of energy grid solutions, helping consumers and businesses manage energy costs, improve conservation efforts, and integrate new beneficial technologies like electric vehicles and storage.
Eligible project applications will be accepted until 9am on 30 November, 2015.
Smart Grid Fund - to date
The Ministry's website lists 24 projects that fall under the Smart Grid Fund spanning metering, data analytics, electric vehicle integration, energy storage and microgrid.
There are eight existing initiatives under the category of grid automation including a demonstration project led by North American smart grid company GRID20/20 with two Canadian utilities.
With a grant of US$1.7 million, GRID20/20 is installing its distribution transformer monitoring (DTM) intra-grid sensors throughout target areas of the Ontario-based utilities' distribution grids with the aim of improving smart grid optimisation practices.
Through its OptaNODE DTM intra-grid sensors, the company aims to demonstrate outage notification, transformer asset health monitoring, preventive maintenance awareness, detection of additional renewable resources added to the grid, management of bi-directional power influx to avoid grid destabilization as well as unmetered power loss identification.
Other technology companies involved in grid automation projects include General Electric, dTechs, N-Dimensions, Opus One, Prolucid and Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Energy.