Ontario to launch $50 million smart grid initiative

The Canadian Province of Ontario has announced plans to launch a $50 million smart grid initiative aimed at driving investment in research, capital and demonstration projects.

The smart grid initiative will put modern grid infrastructure in place to help homeowners monitor and control their energy use, as well as enabling smart charging of electric vehicles.

The initiative adds to Ontario’s other clean technology policies, including the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff (FIT) programme, modelled on those in France and Germany and aimed at providing long-term guaranteed and stable pricing for renewable electricity production via solar photovoltaic, on- and offshore wind, biomass, biogas, landfill gas and hydropower.

“Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan is on track to eliminate coal by 2014,” says Jim Mairs, of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance. “In 2009 our greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector reached the lowest they have been in 45 years and more than 80% of our generation came from emissions-free sources like wind, water, solar, biogas and nuclear.”

Since 2003, Ontario has brought more than 2900 solar projects online and has shut eight of its 19 coal-fired power units.

Mairs adds that Ontario is now looking to attract businesses from around the world to push ahead with smart grid and renewables.

The province’s latest success is the attraction of Celestica and Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, to produce solar power components at Celestica’s facility in Toronto.

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Related stories:
Ontario opens energy efficiency programme for industry (28-Jun 2010)
Ontario green energy policy triggers record-breaking private investment (1-Jun 2010)
Ontario announces CAN$9 billion investment in renewables (9-Apr 2010)
Samsung leads major investment in green energy for Ontario (22-Jan 2010)
Ontario to phase out coal by 2014 (10-Sept 2009)

03 February 2011