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Canada invests in smart grid to create net-zero community

Steve Rogerson
July 25, 2019
The Canadian government is investing $2.9m in a smart grid project in Parry Sound, Ontario, that will let it generate as much energy as it consumes, making it one of the country’s first net-zero communities.
By investing in smart grid technology, Canada hopes to support better electricity systems that lower costs for families and create greener and more sustainable communities.
Parliamentary secretary Paul Lefebvre, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's minister of natural resources, announced the investment in Bracebridge Generation’s Smart Proactive Enabled Energy Distribution Intelligently Efficiently Responsive (Speedier) smart grid project.
"By investing in this project, our government is reducing barriers to innovation and positioning Canada as a global leader in clean technologies,” said Lefebvre. “Initiatives like this help build cleaner and safer electricity systems in remote and rural communities, while creating jobs and lowering costs for middle-class Canadians."
This investment will increase electricity grid reliability, defer costly upgrades, make better use of existing assets, help speed the adoption of electric vehicles and give residents greater control over how they use energy. This project should help the community reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and create jobs in an innovative and transformative field.
"Lakeland believes that innovation in the electricity sector is the way of the future,” said Chris Litschko, chief executive officer of Lakeland Holding and Bracebridge Generation. “Our Speedier project, in conjunction with our partners and support by NRCan, is proof of this important transition. We look forward to implementing a successful Speedier project and with lessons learned rolling out this initiative elsewhere."
Funding for the project comes from the government’s smart grid programme which is part of its more than $180bn Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
Through Canada's national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that reliable, affordable clean energy is not a luxury but a necessity for Canada's low-carbon future. The government of Canada will continue to support clean energy initiatives that create jobs, support investment and industry competitiveness, advance a clean future, and help realise global climate change goals.
"We're thrilled to be working with Bracebridge Generation to transform Parry Sound into a net-zero smart community,” said Hari Subramaniam, chief of strategic growth for Opus One. “By adding our grid intelligence to their toolset, Bracebridge Generation can take advantage of smarter and cleaner resources like a community microgrid and residential demand management via controllable hot water tanks and battery storage to better balance energy consumption and generation. Projects like these not only boost the reliability of a system that we rely on daily, they also help us achieve savings for customers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We're thankful for the government's support in making this happen and for helping open up jobs in the clean-tech economy."