Eaton Opens First R&D Innovation Center in Canada

Nov. 14, 2023
Eaton is investing about $3 billion in research focused on DERs and sustainability solutions this decade. The goal is enabling sustainable electricity for buildings, homes, industry and the electric grid, including microgrids if they fit the situation.

Energy management firm Eaton is celebrating the opening of its latest global innovation center where it will research and develop next-gen distributed energy resource (DER) technologies in Quebec.

The 35,000-square-foot Eaton Innovation Center will bring in about 150 employees to the R&D work near Montreal in Brossard, Quebec. The goal is to enable sustainable electricity for buildings, homes, industry and the electric grid, including microgrids if they fit the situation.

Eaton recently has worked on microgrid projects in the medical care and manufacturing sectors. The microgrids are located around the world, including Puerto Rico, South Africa and California.

Eaton is investing about $3 billion in R&D focused on DERs and sustainability solutions this decade. At the Brossard facility, the company will focus on developing ways to optimizes DERs by connecting cybersecurity, software, human-centered design and automation experts.

“The work we’ll do here will break traditional boundaries of what electrical systems can do and enable far more flexibility in how electricity is generated, distributed and used to accelerate a more sustainable future,” Michael Regelski, senior vice president and chief technology officer for the electrical sector at Eaton, said in a statement.

Eaton will work with educational centers such as ÉTS Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, McGill, Université Concordia, Université de Montréal and others to increase the industry workforce in the region and around the DER innovation R&D.

“Investments in innovation and industry education are crucial to meet clean energy and electrification goals. We need our industry collaborators, like Eaton, working alongside us to test and develop the new solutions needed to integrate more renewables faster, while also inspiring and training the next generation of engineers,” Alexandre Roy, manager, strategic sourcing at utility Hydro-Québec.

Eaton already has a network of medium- and low-voltage distribution equipment manufacturing facilities in Canada. The company also is investing about $500 million in its manufacturing footprint throughout North America.

This is the first Eaton Innovation Center in Canada. The company is operating similar R&D innovation centers in the U.S., India, Ireland, China and the Czech Republic.

Last month, Eaton and Bloom Energy announced there were partnering to develop a microgrid for a California medical center. The microgrid would be powered by Bloom’s fuel cells and designed by Eaton.

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About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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