In Canada, smart solutions provider Siemens last week partnered with power utility New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to support the development of smart grids.
The collaboration saw the launch of the Smart Grid Innovation Network (SGIN) in Fredericton.
According to Siemens, the SGIN will provide a platform for businesses to design, develop and test smart grid-related products and services.
The SGIN will assist developers to further develop and market smart grid technology for implementation on a global scale.
Research, development and testing of new smart grid concepts will be held under the Smart Grid Research Lab at UNB whilst the Interoperability Lab at Siemens will allow conduction of R&D and allow vendors to test interoperability of various smart grid services.
Products and Services Lab at NB Power will conduct R&D, utility grid interoperability testing, and support acceptance testing by validating product requirements and compliance readiness.
[quote]SGIN will host workshops to allow interaction between local and global companies for developed smart grid technology demonstration.
SGIN operation's funding
Siemens announced it will invest more than US$1m CAD while NB Power expects to invest US$2 million and UNB will invest US$2 million in cash.
At a governmental level, SGIN is also supported with US$2 million in federal funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), as well as US$840,000 in provincial government investment by Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB).
Gaetan Thomas, President of NBP commented:"While our primary goal is to transform the electricity system in New Brunswick to bring customers greater value and services, we also have a tremendous opportunity here to help local businesses get their smart energy products market-ready.
"This new network will provide local and global companies a chance to build on the R&D already happening here and promote greater innovation for the benefit of New Brunswickers."