Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Canadian university receives $4.3m to advance smart grid expertise

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018

Thanks to an investment of more than $4.3m from the government of Canada and Emera, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is building on existing smart grid expertise to develop technology for renewable energy.
Investing in clean energy infrastructure and technologies should help advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, meet the world’s future energy needs and help realise its climate change goals.
Matt DeCourcey, member of parliament for Fredericton, joined officials from Emera and the university to make the announcement.
“Smart grid is an emerging market sector that will become increasingly critical as utilities transition from fossil fuels to more efficient and reliable systems using renewable energy,” said DeCourcey. “Investing in UNB’s smart grid project represents a world first in research and commercialisation, and will help us create jobs and build a clean-growth economy.”
The project includes designing, building, testing and demonstrating a suite of distributed energy resources for commercialisation by industry and implementation by utilities. Emera, a publicly traded energy and services company, will deploy and test the project results within its system network at Barbados Light & Power. After testing in a real-world environment, the results will be refined and validated through industry players, users, suppliers, regulators and others.
The government of Canada is investing more than $2.8m through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, as well as $82,100 through NSERC towards this initiative. Emera is providing $1.4m towards this project.
“Technology and innovation are key to the future of Canada’s economy,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development and minister responsible for ACOA and NSERC. “Our government continues to work with partners to invest in clean technologies that lead to better jobs, better opportunities and a better living standard for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
Investments in clean technology are part of the government’s Innovation & Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create growing, innovative businesses with global reach, to strengthen regional economies, and lead to good jobs for Canadians. This investment also builds on the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
“The government of Canada is committed to creating a culture of innovation in which businesses and institutions work together to develop projects like this one between UNB and Emera,” said Karen Ludwig, member of parliament for New Brunswick Southwest. “This important initiative is all about growing the economy and protecting the environment, while supporting long-term prosperity for Atlantic Canadians.
The project is being run by Liuchen Chang (pictured) and his team who want to make it possible for utility companies to use 100 per cent renewable energy
“The partnership we’ve formed to become leaders in advanced smart grid technologies is having a global impact,” said Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of New Brunswick. “Our success would not be possible without our government and industry partners. After more than a decade of work by many researchers and students here, UNB is now playing a key role in advancing the transformation of conventional power grids around the world.”
Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera, added:  “We’re excited to support innovation-focused research towards creating a 100 per cent clean electricity supply. We believe the kind of technology being developed at UNB will play a critical role in making it possible for 100 per cent renewable energy to be affordable and reliable to serve our customers in the future.”