Edmonton – EPCOR’s proposed E.L. Smith solar farm project received a boost today as two investment commitments were confirmed that will enhance the solar farm by adding a complete smart grid system, with a battery energy storage system and intelligent controls and monitoring.
Natural Resources Canada announced an investment of $10.7 million as part of a federal program to invest in green infrastructure, particularly those involving smart grid systems.
"A system that integrates renewables, increases energy storage and improves monitoring is the definition of 'smart'. Better training for our workforce is critical for Canada's clean economy and will enable new skills development for utility workers, building a stronger workforce," said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources.
In addition, Alberta Innovates announced a $1.9 million investment as part of its Clean Energy program. "Smart cities are powered by smart electrical grids which will need innovative energy storage solutions," said Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates. "A broad group of players in the Smart Grid Consortium has come together to accelerate the solutions that can be widely deployed in the province. We're delighted to support this initiative as it moves into full demonstration in Edmonton."
These investments in a smart grid system will help EPCOR continue its commitment to reducing emissions and energy consumption from non-renewable sources by adopting new energy technologies.
"EPCOR is pleased to partner with Natural Resources Canada and Alberta Innovates to advance efforts to build a clean energy economy," said EPCOR President and CEO Stuart Lee. "This smart grid system is an example of environmental stewardship, economic benefit and innovation converging."
The smart grid system will consist of the proposed solar farm, a battery storage system and intelligent controls and monitoring capabilities to optimize grid operation. It will add resiliency to the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant and reduce reliance on the electrical grid. The project also offers opportunities to enhance education and awareness of large-scale renewable energy and smart grid technology – allowing Alberta students and the general public access to solar technology that they otherwise would not receive.
Before proceeding, the proposed E.L. Smith solar farm project will require approvals from the Alberta Utilities Commission and the City of Edmonton. The project aligns with the City's The Way We Green environmental strategic plan, and if approved, will generate renewable energy to help power the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Find out more about our E.L.Smith solar farm.
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About EPCOR Utilities Inc.
EPCOR, through its subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 70 employer.