Ontario Plans Microgrid in Northern Most Community; Will Invest $2.5M

Aug. 15, 2015
Ontario is investing $2.5 million toward what will be the first solar/diesel microgrid in the province’s far north region.

The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million toward what will be the first solar/diesel microgrid in the province’s far north region.

The microgrid will be built and operated by the Fort Severn First Nation, and will connect wind and solar to existing diesel generators.

The funding comes from a $130 billion, 10-year infrastructure effort underway in Ontario, the largest such improvement in the province’s history. The microgrid funds are being channeled through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, a government development agency that is part of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Fort Severn is Ontario’s northern most community, located at the mouth of the Severn River on Hudson’s Bay, near the Manitoba border.

“Fort Severn First Nation now has the capacity to build Northern Ontario’s first renewable solar-diesel microgrid. This innovative and renewable approach will help reduce energy costs and environmental impact as well as expand business opportunities,” said Michael Gravelle, minister of Northern Development and Mines and chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

The province is funding the microgrid and other energy projects within the government’s four-part plan to bolster Ontario’s economy. The plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills; making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history; creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives; and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Separately, Ontario has provided $500,000 toward a microgrid at Ryerson University, as part of the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Laboratory (SESG Lab) at Ryerson’s Center for Urban Energy in Toronto. The facility, which opened in March, is Canada’s first university-based smart grid lab.

The province also put $309,317 toward a microgrid being developed with eCamion, a community energy storage company, Arntjen Solar and Fanshawe College. Expected to be complete in December, the microgrid will be located at the Woodstock Hydro Whites Lane Distribution facility. Called the Whites Lane Microgrid, it is being designed to ‘powermatch’ — match customer loads with renewable energy and energy storage through the use of smart metering data, customer education and customer load monitoring devices.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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