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Integrating Distributed Generation into Secondary Networks in Large Urban Centres

Strategic Area

Smart Grid Demonstration

Status

Active

Partners

Cadillac Fairview

Alberta Innovates

Fund

Green Infrastructure

Year

2018

GI Contribution

$2.043 M

Project Total

$5.788 M

Location

Calgary, AB

Find out more

ENMAX Power Corporation

Lead Proponent

ENMAX Power Corporation

Project Objectives

Photovoltaic Solar Array installed at the Chinook Centre. Photo courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

Photovoltaic Solar Array installed at the Chinook Centre. Photo courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

  • Text version An array of Solar Photovoltaic panels installed by Cadillac Fairview as part of the ENMAX Power Corporation (ENMAX) project. ENMAX aims to lower the economic barrier for customers to invest in more renewable energy generation, and to support increased penetration of clean energy in the City of Calgary, with a goal to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase grid resiliency. NRCan provided funding to ENMAX through its Smart Grid Program whose goals include increased grid electrification efforts throughout Canada.

The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate a new solution to accommodate bi-directional power flows on urban electrical grids.

This can ultimately help unlock the untapped potential for urban centers, such as the city of Calgary, to allow generation from renewable and distributed energy. Initially, this will be demonstrated using Solar Photovoltaics (PV), but can be expanded to include other types of generation and resources. The success of this project could lead to significant reductions of GHGs and result in many other benefits.

Using a combination of advanced monitoring and controls as well as protective relay configuration changes that allow for export, the proposed project will demonstrate how solar PV, and ultimately other forms of distributed generation and energy resources, can be safely integrated into secondary and spot networks.

Expected Results

Overall, this will be a new approach to exporting customer-owned generation that is safe and sustainable for the grid.

It will lower the technical barrier to the utility, and ultimately remove an economic barrier for customers to invest in more renewable energy generation, increase clean energy in the city of Calgary, lower GHGs, and increase grid resiliency.

The project learnings will be disseminated to other municipalities across Canada and North America, magnifying the impact that will be experienced in Calgary.

Estimated GHG reductions (tCO2e):

3,411 cumulative by 2030

Project Updates

In 2021 ENMAX secured a project partnership with Cadillac Fairview, who will host this pilot project’s on-site solar generation for the demonstration. Lab testing of the project’s design was successfully completed with vendor Burns and McDonnell. ENMAX has engaged Catch Engineering and CIMA+ to perform the substation and secondary network designs respectively.

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