ARCHIVED - Smart Grid in Canada - Overview of the Industry in 2010

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David Beauvais, CanmetENERGY
Ralph Zucker, SmartGrid Canada


CETC Number 2011-027 / 2011-04-04

Abstract

The modernization of electrical infrastructure is underway in many countries around the world. Motivated by important drivers such as economic development, national security, and environmental and clean energy objectives, provinces, states and countries are prioritizing innovation in their electrical grids and striving to build a "smart grid".

In Canada, smart grids have been progressing for some time. During Industry Canada’s Digital Economy Consultation in 2010, smart grids were identified as a core component of a digital economy. Over the last two years, activity has escalated, as related research has expanded and as greater numbers of applications are becoming commercially available. One important initiative is the Clean Energy Fund (CEF), which was announced by Natural Resources Canada on May 19, 2009 and included a demonstration component for Renewable and Clean Energy Technologies. 19 demonstration projects were announced in 6 technology areas, including energy storage and smart grids. These projects accounted for $146 million in CEF contributions.

With greater smart grid activity across Canada, there is an increasing need for building awareness, sharing of knowledge and progress, and collaboration on both research and deployments. SmartGrid Canada has recently been formed as a not‐for‐profit alliance to foster that advancement. With a broad membership base including utilities, vendors, technology and service providers, academia, and other industry associations, SmartGrid Canada intends to lead this sector for the benefit of all Canadians. Industry is also providing leadership through its participation in new initiatives, such as the Canadian Smart Microgrid Research Network and the Smart Grid Standards Task Force.

Canada has a great role to play in smart grid development in North America and around the world, by enhancing the innovative culture and the technical expertise that is already evident in many areas across the country. This paper will provide an overview of Canadian smart grid activities and initiatives by province, by utility and by the federal government.

To learn more about CanmetENERGY's activities related to smart grid, visit the Smart Grid section of the website.