March 23, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - About $3.6 million will be invested by NB Power in a smart electric grid pilot project using wind generation.
The initiative, known as the The Customer Load Control for Wind Integration Project, is one of 19 selected for funding in January from the federal Clean Energy Fund.
"We are very pleased to collaborate with other Maritimes utilities, the New Brunswick system operator and the University of New Brunswick in this project, which will play a major role in achieving a sustainable future for our customers," said Gaëtan Thomas, president and acting chief executive officer, NB Power. "We remain committed to investing in these technologies and participating in events such as today's Smart Grid Summit in Saint John to help safeguard the environment for future generations of our customers."
The project will use innovative technology to provide fast-acting ancillary services for wind integration by controlling commercial and residential loads without affecting the customer. Communication devices will be installed on thermal equipment and appliances in customers' homes and businesses to allow for non-intrusive control of electricity consumption to match variable supply from wind turbines.
"The findings of the pilot are intended to produce results that will enable us to implement additional wind resources and reduce greenhouse gases while continuing to provide our customers with seamless energy," said Thomas. "Additionally, this collaboration will build on a regional expertise and minimize redundancy while building economic spin-offs."
"NB Power's smart grid pilot project is a first of its kind, and I am proud of this initiative," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "Our government has identified the smart grid as a terrific opportunity for the New Brunswick information and communication technologies industry. We are building partnerships and exploring all opportunities in this area. In fact, today we are hosting the first NB Smart Grid Summit, in which NB Power is also participating. Our government hopes to announce further support for NB Power's project in the near future."
The project is estimated to cost $32 million and expected to be completed by 2014.
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather MacLean, director, corporate relations and communications, 506-458-6618, firstname.lastname@example.org.