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News

Shediac home to New Brunswick’s first Smart Energy Community Project

2019-06-12


Shediac, N.B. – The Town of Shediac will be the home of New Brunswick’s first Smart Energy Community Project as NB Power received $5.7M funding, today, to create a major new green energy initiative for the town. The project is the first of its kind in the province and will serve as a testing ground for new technologies that are being developed by NB Power and Siemens Canada. 

Today, in Shediac, Natural Resources Canada announced $10. 8M in funding for two sister projects – one to be located in the town of Shediac led by NB Power and the other located in the town of Amherst led by NS Power. The funding comes from Natural Resources Canada’s $100M Smart Grid Program.

“Our goal is to meet the future needs of our customers in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective way by gradually eliminating the remaining 20 to 25% of our power generation that is carbon producing while ensuring we protect our customers from the significant rate increases that have resulted from this transition elsewhere,” said NB Power’s President and CEO, Gaëtan Thomas. “The only way to have a fully renewable future is with the integration of smart grid technologies that ease the acceptance of small-scale renewables onto the grid and this pilot project will allow for testing the integration of small scale solar power and battery storage along with other smart technologies into customers’ homes.”

This new funding will help the partners deliver the entire vision for the Smart Grid Atlantic projects. The goal is to develop and demonstrate smart grid technologies that will speed the adoption of new renewable energy and storage technologies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The work will enable the provincial power utilities to shorten outages, better integrate customer-owned renewable energy assets onto the power grid, improve resiliency and self-sufficiency for individual communities, lower green-house gas emissions and protect customers from the potential rate increases related to the adoption of these new technologies.

“These smart investments in electricity infrastructure build a stronger and more resilient grid and help build better connections between communities,” said the Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, Alaina Lockhart, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi. “Incorporating renewables, smart meters and battery storage into Canadians’ homes and businesses will help power real change in terms of emissions reduction and increase awareness of energy consumption.”

The utilities will also work with customers to manage energy consumption and test new electricity pricing options. Each utility will focus on slightly different aspects of testing, so that results and lessons learned can be shared across the two provinces. NS Power’s participation is contingent on approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

In Shediac, 500 homes will be selected to test different technologies such as smart thermostats, solar rooftop generation, smart water heaters and in-home battery storage. The utility will also focus on potential cybersecurity issues posed by these connected devices and test varying rate schemes. In Amherst, the focus will be on commercial applications. Solar panels with battery storage on a number of commercial buildings will help manage customer demand and reliability needs, and smart electric vehicle charging will be trialed for optimal charging in the community. The construction of a solar farm in each community will add green power to the grid while giving both utilities valuable grid experience in managing solar generation of this size.

“Our customers count on us for reliable, affordable and clean energy. As we continue to lead Canada in reducing carbon emissions, we need innovative solutions to add new energy sources to our grid,” said NS Power’s President and CEO, Karen Hutt. “Contingent on approval by our regulator, investing in the Amherst smart grid project will help us learn how to best incorporate new technologies to serve our customers, while showcasing Amherst as a progressive, smart-energy community.”

NB Power will begin recruiting homeowners in Shediac to become part of the project – nearly a thousand are needed for Phase 1 - starting next week. NB Power will host an Open House session in Shediac, on June 18, to provide further details to the public on this pilot project and residents who are interested in potentially enrolling.

This inter-provincial partnership supports the commitment by the Atlantic premiers and the federal government to develop a Clean Power Roadmap for Atlantic Canada.

The projects are part of the $92.7M Smart Grid Atlantic Initiative formed by NB Power with Siemens Canada and Nova Scotia Power.  This initiative received $35.7M in funding by Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada at an announcement on January 29, 2019 in Fredericton. 

The Smart Grid program is part of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.


Quick Facts:

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • Along with the recently announced Smart Grid Atlantic Project funded by Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, the Collaborative Grid Innovation for Atlantic Smart Energy Communities project will encourage investment and innovation to help build a smart grid hub in the region.

 

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sheila Lagacé, communications, NB Power, 506-458-4375 or SLagace@nbpower.com

Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100, NRCan.media_relations-media_relations.RNCan@canada.ca

Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-543-7645, Vanessa.Adams@canada.ca