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Smart Grid Innovators Wanted for Ontario’s Smart Grid Fund Program

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Applications due September 6, 2013

Building a smarter grid is an important part of the Ontario, Canada, government's plan to modernize the province’s electricity system and provide clean, reliable and affordable power to consumers. Ontario is now accepting project applications for the next round of its Smart Grid Fund program, seeking innovative projects to support the development of its modern, intelligent electricity system. Project applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on September 6, 2013.

Launched in 2011, the Smart Grid Fund is a $50 million program that supports Ontario-based projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of smart grid solutions. This latest round of funding will support advanced energy technology projects, such as energy storage and electric vehicle integration. U.S. companies are eligible if they have or plan to establish operations in Ontario and meet the other application requirements.

Supported by investments such as Ontario's 4.7 million smart meters, the smart grid connects the electricity system with new technologies and sources of information to help reduce service disruptions, increase conservation capacity, waste less energy and increase grid security.

A smart grid is a modern, intelligent province-wide electricity system. It uses advanced communications and control technology to improve the flexibility, reliability and efficiency of the electricity system. A smarter grid helps detect, prevent and restore outages, gives families and businesses more tools to manage their power use, and further reduces greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to connect renewable energy to the grid. Smart grid technologies also provide consumers with conservation tools that allow for more efficient electricity use and help manage costs.

To date, the Smart Grid Fund has supported nine projects from various smart grid technology areas, involving partnerships from 12 electricity utilities. These projects are also supporting the creation of more than 600 direct and indirect jobs.

Examples of projects supported in the initial round of Smart Grid Fund are in the categories of Behind the Meter, Integrating Distributed Energy Resources Data Management and Grid Automation:

CatNet Systems•      Ecobee's Smart Thermostat tracks energy use and tells consumers how they can save energy and money over time. Consumer information is also sent from the Thermostats to local utilities to help them manage the system more efficiently.
•      Energate is developing tools that make it easier for consumers to monitor and manage their home energy use and costs. Energate's software, mobile applications, and devices —like smart thermostats and in-home energy displays — also help to manage the system by reducing peak demand.
•      Enbala's software is helping Ontario to maintain reliability. By connecting 90 large-scale commercial and industrial consumers to their software program, they can automatically increase or decrease electricity consumption in response to second by second changes in electricity voltage on the grid. This will help Ontario use its renewable energy sources more efficiently.
•      IBM is creating a research collaboration center that will use and analyze smart meter data. The project will use this data to identify ways to improve conservation and shift usage away from peak times.
•      Prolucid's project gives local distribution companies more automated control over the management of their systems by pinpointing outages and system faults bygathering better data in real time.
•      N-Dimensions is developing cyber security solutions to help ensure data gathered from smart meter collector systems remains protected and secure.
•      Essex energy Corp. is developing software to integrate data sources from a variety of technologies, including smart meters, to monitor the state of the electricity distribution system and alert operators to system problems.
•      dTechs is installing 2,225 high-resolution wireless sensors on the medium voltage supply in Oakville to help the utility detect issues on their grid, making the system more efficient and reliable.
•      General Electric's Grid IQ Centre supports research and innovation to improve the efficiency, reliability and security of the electricity grid.

For more information visit http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/smart-grid-fund/


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