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Smart cities and communities

Northern and remote community of Cambridge Bay

Electric grid modernization is a major focus area across Canada. It not only involves efforts at the regional and provincial level, but also within neighbourhoods, communities, cities and municipalities. In fact, some of the biggest drivers of change – electrification, consumer/prosumer participation, and distributed energy resource (DER) adoption – could have the most impact at these levels and help drive smart community and city development. Beyond technology, the exploration of smart grid will include identifying and resolving market and regulatory barriers.

Our areas of focus

To design smart cities and communities, all grid pieces (i.e. generation, transmission, distribution, loads, and storage) must be integrated together and optimized both locally and with the larger grid. In Canada, this must be done in the context of already existing and older grid infrastructure. Initial efforts are therefore focused on enabling two-way communication between utilities, grid assets, and smart loads. Subsequent grid modernization efforts will capitalize on DERs including controllable loads, storage and renewable energy generation, with the goal of enabling clean electrification and improving grid security and reliability.

Our team develops methods and controls to facilitate and increase the penetration of variable renewable energy, to optimize use of DERs, and to make smarter and more resilient cities and communities – whether for a city or for a northern remote community.

We currently seek to:

  • develop smart community and city concepts by using methods to facilitate renewable integration and electrification, including within microgrids
  • propose solutions for creating sustainable northern and remote communities through increased renewable penetration and reduced reliance on diesel

Projects underway at CanmetENERGY in Varennes

In pursuit of these focus areas, our Centre is currently involved in the following activities:

Smart community and city concepts
Sustainable northern and remote communities

Our equipment and test benches

CanmetENERGY in Varennes conducts applied research aimed at facilitating the integration of distributed renewable energy sources to the electricity grid and to net-zero energy buildings in partnership with industry, university and utilities. Within the framework of this project, our researchers use the following test bench:

  • Grid simulator and power conversion equipment testing facility
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Featured item

Colville Lake hybrid power plant

CanmetENERGY in Varennes collaborated with the community of Colville Lake, in the Northwest Territories, to install the first high penetration renewable energy microgrid within the Canadian Arctic Circle.

Learn more about this collaboration

Find out more about smart cities and communities

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