Electicity Sector Projects Part 2

of two

California Electricity Sector Projects

In California, three main companies have managed the main smart grid or non-wires alternatives projects. They are San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E). SDG&E is working on a Demand Response Management System (DRMS), SCE is working on circuit automation, and SDG&E has three projects underway, including Smart AC, electric vehicle infrastructure, and time-varying pricing rates.



Project 1: Demand Response Management System (DRMS)


Project 2: Circuit Automation


Project 3: Smart AC

  • This project initially called SmartAC relied on the deployment of 250,000 1-way communication load control devices for air conditioners since the start of the program in 2007.
  • In 2017-2018, the program cost $7.2 million to implement, including costs tied to marketing, administration, and products.
  • The technology used in the project has evolved and the new devices allow for 2-way communication through smart meters.
  • This allows the company PG&E, in case of a high demand or electricity shortage, to have control over the AC and reduce its capacity through the load control devices, in order to avoid network outages.
  • There is an incentive of $50 and free technical support for customers who enroll in the program.
  • The benefits of the program are that PG&E has the ability to check and monitor the electrical consumption of an air conditioner in real time and detect potential malfunctions thanks to the 2-way system.

Project 4: Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Project 5: Time-Varying Pricing (TVP) Rates

of two

Electricity Sector Projects - Province of Ontario

The examples of electricity sector projects are the smart Grid project, Kinectrics' flexible power laboratory, MaRS discovery district, autonomous intelligent nanogrid solution, and Opus One.

$32 million Smart Grid Project by PUC

  • Robert Brewer, President of PUC (Public Utilities Commission Services), says that the project will result to 4% reduction to energy and can reduce 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
  • This innovative project will upgrade the City's electrical system. This new system will self-diagnose problems in the line and have auto correction feature.
  • The City applied for a Smart City Federal grant but was disapproved. The report mentions that 50% of the funding comes from private sources and federal and government funding is needed for the project to move forward.

Kinectrics' Flexible Power Laboratory

MaRS Discovery District — Advanced Energy Centre

Solantro’s Autonomous Intelligent Nanogrid Solution

  • Solantro Semiconductor Corp built and deployed modular nanogrid architecture based on advanced semiconductor technology. The Nanogrid is composed of Photovoltaic (PV) generation battery storage and load control and is capable of both grid tied operation and islanded operation.
  • This project is in partnership with Hydro Ottawa and received $1,199,565 from Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund.

Opus One and Veridian Community Microgrid and Feeder Automation

  • Opus One together with its utility partner, Veridian Connections and property developer Marshall Homes, will develop a residential microgrid system. The operation will use its GridOS platform to integrate with various distributed energy resources (DERs), such as Tesla Powerwall storage systems to improve reliability and efficiency.
  • Last June 24, 2019, Opus One Solutions received funding rounds from MacKinnon, Bennett & Company (“MKB”), Renewal Funds and Export Development Canada (“EDC”) to further develop its web-based GridOS® Integrated Distribution Planning (IDP).
  • This project also received $1,096,000 from Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund.

Research Strategy:

We were not able to answer the clients question because the examples of projects used required government funding. First, since this required private sector projects, we didn't focus on government website like ontario.ca. We looked for precompiled data among media sites such as CTV News, Global New Wire, Toronto News, and SmartGrid Today. However, we were not able to find projects funded by private sector without government intervention. For example, a $32 million smart grid project is being pushed in the city Sault Ste. Marie. The report says that 50% of the funding is already given by the private sector but it needs federal funds to move forward. They already applied, but they were rejected. In our search, we found that the Canadian government itself recommends that there should be a blend of public and private funding to Canada's top clean technology performers including smart grid companies.

Next, we looked for private companies in the Smart grid Industry in Canada such as MaRS Cleantech, Opus One, and Kinectrics. However, we were not able to find companies with smart grid projects that didn't have government backing. For example, MaRS was able to raise $112 million capital but the government still added another $5.5 million to fund its Advanced Energy Centre.

Lastly, we looked for information on Smart Grid Associations in Ontario and expanded to Canada as a whole, as the Smart Grid Canada and Canadian Electrical Association. We also looked for conferences like IRES 2018 (International Conference on Integration of Renewable
and Distributed Energy Resources) that contains major smart grid developments in Canada. However, government funding is present in these projects especially from the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund which has invested $200 million overall. IRES2018 featured ENMAX Power Corporation investing into smart grid but report shows that the federal government still invested an addition $1.4 million.

Thus, the additional findings above contains the recent smart grid projects that are still being completed in Ontario with both the support of private and public funding as recommended by the Canada's Economic Strategy Tables. (s2)

From Part 01
  • "The Smart Grid,as defined in the State of California by Senate Bill 17 (Padilla, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2009), is a fundamental change in the existing electricity infrastructure that utilizes advances in technology to create a safer, greener, more efficient, and more reliable electricity supply. "
  • "SDG&E Example Projects  Demand Response Management System (DRMS) – The DRMS project enables integrated management of SDG&E’s entire demand response portfolio. This includes program and device management, forecasting, settlement, and analytics/reporting. The second phase, which will deliver DR post event settlement capabilities for the capacity bid program and business reporting, is underway and deployment began in Q3 of 2017"
  • "SCE Example Projects  3 rd Party Smart Thermostat Program – SCE is working with some of the leading Internetconnected smart thermostat vendors and system providers to enroll customers in a demand response program that utilizes smart meter interval data. After the two-year study in 2013 and 2014, SCE started the Save Power Day program in June 2015 and has approximately 41,000 participants enrolled as of September 2017. SCE has surpassed its goal of having 35,000 customers enrolled by the end of 2017. "
  • "PG&E Example Projects:  Demand Response Plug-In Electric Vehicle (DR PEV) Pilot – The goal of the DR PEV Pilot is to demonstrate the technical feasibility as well as the value of managed charging of EVs as a flexible and controllable grid resource. By December 2016, the DR PEV Pilot dispatched 209 DR events, totaling 19,500 kWh. The Pilot was deemed a success as 98 percent of the participating customers indicated that they were satisfied with the program."
  • "The DRMS Projects will enable the management of SDG&E’s demand response portfolio with the following integrated capabilities: program management, enrollment, eligibility, device management, event management, forecasting, settlement, analytics/reporting and workflow. "
  • "This first phase implemented functionality necessary to support SDG&E’s Capacity Bidding Program and also provided customers with the ability to connect home area network devices to their meters and receive price information on their devices. Phase 3 will provide additional functionality to deliver additional DR programs in a single integrated architecture. The forecast for the DRMS projects for 2017, 2018, and 2019 are $517,000, $612,000, and $643,000"
  • "Reliability benefits come primarily from SCE’s circuit automation program, which shortens the amount of time required to restore power to a portion of customers during an outage. Circuit automation is not new, and the benefits accrue from roughly two decades of deployment. . "
  • "As discussed in the 2017 Smart Grid Deployment Plan Update, SCE has previously estimated this benefit using a Value‐of‐Service (VOS) reliability model developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.32 In support of SCE’s 2018 GRC33 application, SCE has developed and implemented a more rigorous reliability forecasting methodology and has updated its VOS estimates; the improved approach indicates a significant increase in calculated reliability benefits relative to past reports."
  • "Description: The primary purpose of SCE’s Circuit Automation Program is to automatically or remotely restore power to customers after outages caused by faults. In providing this service, Circuit Automation helps minimize the impact on customers of outages that occur in the ordinary course of business. The capabilities provided by the Circuit Automation Program are consistent with basic service provided by most utilities in this country."
  • "Description: Under its direct installation program, SmartAC™, PG&E has deployed over 250,000 1-way paging air conditioner direct load control devices since 2007. To leverage its investment in the AMI network and to improve the reliability of this resource, PG&E conducted extensive testing and has migrated to a bidirectional (2-way) technology by Energate (recently acquired by Tantaulus) that communicates through Smart Meters. "
  • "This new technology communicates with PG&E’s SmartMeters via a Zigbee Smart Energy 1.1b standard protocol module. Residential Smart Meters at PG&E incorporated this auxiliary communication module since initial deployment to promote Home Area Network and smart grid automation. "
  • "PG&E has integrated the 2-way device head-end control system, Itron’s (formerly Silver Spring Networks) Home and Business Area Network (HAN) Communication Manager, with its DR management system, Lockheed Martin Energy’s SEEload product, to have a single system of dispatch to support CAISO market integration of its SmartAC program in 2018 and provide a graphically based dashboard of enrollment and dispatchable status."
  • "When you sign up for the PG&E SmartAC program, we install a free SmartAC device on your air conditioner (AC) and give you $50 for participating. In case of an energy shortage from May 1 - October 31, we send a signal to your SmartAC device directing your AC to run at a lower capacity. Understand how the program works."
  • "Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) launched the EV Charge Network program to install 7,500 EV chargers at multi-unit dwellings and workplaces throughout its service territory. This program provides an opportunity to contribute to California’s clean energy goals while also investing in your property. If you have at least ten parking spots available to convert, you can take advantage of program rebates and incentives to help install EV chargers and receive assistance in permitting and construction, valued at approximately $100,000. "
  • "Time-of-use rate plans can help you save money because they offer lower energy rates when energy demand is low. Conversely, costs increase when demand is high. You can reduce your expenses by shifting your energy use to partial-peak or off-peak hours of the day. Rates during partial-peak and off-peak hours are lower than rates during peak hours, which are currently between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays, May through October."
From Part 02
  • "The new smart grid system will cost more than $32-million."
  • "A smart grid electrical distribution system is coming to the city of Sault Ste. Marie. It's being called unique, and there are promises it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency."
  • ""The city applied for a Smart City Grant from the federal government. We didn't pass, we didn't qualify. I truly, truly believe that smart grid will mean smart city for Sault Ste. Marie, which brings with it a whole lot of money." said Butland."
  • "Private funding is being used for about half, while provincial and federal support will be needed."
  • "Canada has the opportunity to fill gaps in government financing, especially end-stage capital for scale-up and commercialization. There is a need to blend public and private funding so it is focused on—and available to—Canada's top clean technology performers. "
  • "Private capital would guide decision-making about which firms are ready to scale up while Government support would be used to provide an acceptable risk profile and unlock typically risk-averse private capital, de-risking project deployments and providing a source of competitive financing to high-potential firms, allowing our strong performers to excel."
  • "This project is evaluating various dynamic pricing programs and their interaction with different types of electricity usage feedback to evaluate energy consumption patterns. The project aims to attribute consumption shifting, conservation and customer satisfaction due to variation in various aspects of rate structures. Over 1,000 households from Hydro One’s service territory participated in the pilot phase."
  • "The specialized testing capabilities of the GRIDSIM Power Lab will enable manufacturers to accelerate products to market, mitigate on-site grid compliance testing and achieve safe renewable energy interconnection with the grid - as well as the potential to save developers time and cost during project commissioning. Funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund and Alstom, the Kinectrics GRIDSIM Power Lab will be the first of its kind in Canada and one of only few in the world – grand opening is scheduled for Spring 2019.​ ​​​"
  • "Collaborators include: Alstom"
  • "Kinectrics is constructing a new Flexible Power Laboratory to test, develop, and certify high-power equipment, primarily renewable energy generators and energy storage systems. The laboratory will be the first of its kind in Canada and will offer comprehensive testing and certification services to manufacturers, system integrators, and utilities throughout Ontario, Canada, and worldwide."
  • "The Advanced Energy Centre was provided funding to foster the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Canada, and to leverage those successes and experiences into international markets. In recognizing the difficulty of innovating in a highly regulated energy sector, the AEC works through its partnership network to collaborate and extend Canada’s early lead in next-generation energy technologies."
  • "Collaborators include: Siemens Canada"
  • "This project will build and deploy a new, modular nanogrid architecture based on advanced semiconductor technology. The Solantro nanogrid will comprise of photovoltaic (PV) generation, battery storage and load control. It will be capable of both islanded and grid tied operation. The nanogrid will allow customers more choice and has the potential to reduce system cost."
  • "Collaborators include: Hydro Ottawa Limited"
  • "Earlier this year we also formally announced another pillar in our strategy: a new public-private partnership called the Advanced Energy Centre, which will exploit Ontario’s early lead in energy technology and help our energy innovators to sell their solutions in international markets. "
  • "Our core belief is that sustainable, long-term job creation will result from exporting new, innovative products that transform the global energy market. The Advanced Energy Centre brings together the best of the best from the public and private sectors of our energy industry, uniting the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, with Capgemini and Siemens as initial founding partners."
  • "The nanogrid that won funding is being developed by Ottawa-based Solantro Semiconductor in partnership with Hydro Ottawa. "
  • "Opus One Solutions, a leading provider of transactive energy and distributed energy management software solutions, announced today that it has closed another round of funding led by MacKinnon, Bennett & Company (“MKB”) and Export Development Canada (“EDC”) to accelerate the company’s growth in North American and global markets. An additional investment from Renewal Funds was also received this round."
  • "“The global energy sector is being profoundly disrupted by the rise of distributed energy resources, creating an accelerating need for more dynamic and digital software services in the utility world,” says Patrick Bennett, Partner at MKB. “We believe that Opus One, with its GridOS platform, will be the industry leader in driving this change and digitalizing the distribution grid. We are excited to support them in achieving their vision of a clean, smarter and more decentralized energy system.”"