Reducing the Cost of Isolated Networks

The supply of electricity to Canadian communities in remote areas is an important issue. Studies and demonstration projects are currently under way at CanmetENERGY to find solutions to isolated network electricity supply problems.

Because these communities are so remote from the main electrical grid, electricity is produced with generators running on fossil fuels, such as diesel. The production costs of these generators are very high, sometimes 5 times higher than the production costs of a power plant used in an integrated network. The overall cost of production could reach as high as $2 per kWh in specific northern regions.

The development of technologies related to the smart grid and the production of renewable energy makes it possible to:

  • Connect renewable energy with existing thermal generation to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels
  • Manage energy consumption and power demand to save energy or avoid the installation of additional power plants

These remote communities are different culturally, and their use of electrical power often differs according to area. Therefore, community culture is an important element to consider in project development. Active participation is always key to the success of an energy project.

Studies and demonstration projects carried out in this area follow:

To learn more about this issue, see the Publications section.

Managed by CanmetENERGY at the Varennes (Quebec) research centre.