Ontario Opens Next Round of Applications to Fund Microgrids & Smart Grid

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fund microgridsOntario is accepting a new round of applications to fund microgrids and other smart grid projects as part of its $50 million Smart Grid Fund.

Exactly how much money will be funded in this round depends on the quality of the projects, according to a spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Energy.

The ministry will accept applications until November 30, 2015.

Ontario has an aggressive smart grid development strategy underway, with more about 4.7 million smart meters already in place. The Smart Grid Fund supports projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of energy grid solutions. The goal is to help consumers and businesses manage energy costs, improve conservation efforts, and integrate technologies like electric vehicles and storage.

Ontario plans to fund microgrids that would be installed in both urban and remote settings.

The provincial government will accept applications from businesses, including  technology developers and manufacturers, software providers, and communications and information services providers; Ontario electricity utilities; universities and colleges; regional or municipal government agencies; and non-governmental organizations.

In addition to microgrids, the provincial government is offering the funds for a range of  smart grid projects.

They include initiatives that help customers become active energy participants, as well as more infrastructure-focused efforts, such as self-healing grids that can perform fault location, isolation and service restoration using automated technologies and communication systems.

Ontario also seeks smart grid projects that offer:

  • Enhanced fault prevention that can precisely detect faults while protecting equipment and enabling faster response
  • Automated voltage control solutions to automatically track, operate, and optimise voltage levels on feeders
  • Dynamic capacity rating that accurately monitors line conditions in real time
  • Distributed energy resources monitoring and control, enabling more effective and efficient integration of these types of assets onto distribution systems
  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that improves accuracy and security of meter reading and enhances the utility’s ability to manage its system.

An earlier round of funding resulted in grants for three microgrid projects and several smart grid installations. The winning microgrid projects were:

  • $2.9 million to Canadian Solar for the Renewable Energy Microgrid Testing Center to provide testing and validation services for new microgrid system components and controls to achieve high renewable energy penetration
  • $309,000 to eCamion for a microgrid that supports 16 residential and commercial loads. The project uses smart meters, electric vehicles, renewables and storage
  • $3.8 million for a Panasonic Eco Solutions Canada project to demonstrate a functioning ‘grid-tied’ microgrid at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) campus in Oshawa

Completed applications must be sent to sgf@ontario.ca. More details and the application are available here.

Track news about offers to fund microgrids by following us on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com and EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.