Siemens partners with Canadian Utilities to develop smart grid technology

Siemens Canada, New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and Nova Scotia Power (NSP) agreed on conducting a joint project to develop and demonstrate smart grid technology to better manage the provinces´ electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The overall investment for the project amounts to $92.7 CAD million (€ 60.95 million). For a joint pilot project aimed at analyzing challenges and opportunities posed by Canada’s energy transition, the three partners have been awarded $35.66 M CAD (€ 23.45 million) in federal funding. The partners will research and test in real-time how the grid of the future can optimize integration of renewables, ensure stability of the grid and manage decentralized distribution in order to better manage the provinces’ electricity, potentially reduce future electricity costs for consumers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot, officially called the Smart Grid Atlantic project, is being funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.

“The electricity sector is undergoing significant change including new applications and new ways of generating and delivering electricity,” said Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. “Businesses, governments and researchers must work together in order to keep pace with continuous advances and demands in the electricity grid. Siemens’ partnership and investment in Atlantic Canada are examples of how action and collaboration will ensure a sustainable energy future for Canada and around the world.”

“Our government is bringing cheaper energy and a more reliable power grid in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in Canada. “Our strategic investment in Siemens’ project will create new middle-class jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will cement our place as a world leader in clean technologies.”

“This partnership will be truly ground-breaking. Together with NB Power and Nova Scotia Power, we will develop and implement a powerful cloud-based Energy System Platform (ESP), allowing everyone to participate in the energy market,” says Faisal Kazi, President and CEO of Siemens Canada. “The ESP will enable data analytics, ensure connectivity, and provide tools for developers to create customer-focused applications and services. The platform will also optimize the overall electrical grid and reduce the cost of transitioning into a greener future not only in Canada but throughout the globe.”

Siemens will research and develop the made-in-Canada ESP software and NB Power and NSP will provide the needed assets and customer engagement to demonstrate and test these platforms in real scenarios and real time. Siemens and its partners have also committed to increased collaboration with post-secondary institutions, driving greater gender diversity in the workforce, developing intellectual property (IP) produced in Canada, and driving more engagement with local indigenous communities in the clean energy sector.

“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. 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,” says Karen Hutt, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Power.

“Our goal is to gradually eliminate the remaining 20 to 25% of our generation that is carbon producing while ensuring we protect our customers from the significant rate increases that have resulted from this transition elsewhere. The only way to have a fully renewable future is with smart grid technologies that ease the acceptance of small-scale renewables onto the grid,” says Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO, NB Power. “With these new federal investments, we’ll be able to accelerate our pilot projects and testing to ensure that customers get a greener New Brunswick grid without the disruptions we’re seeing in other parts of the world.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development met with Cedrik Neike, Managing Board Member of Siemens AG with Special Responsibility for the Energy Management Division, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The funding was announced in a Canadian government news release following this meeting.