PowerStream shows future off-grid solution for energy consumers

Initial phase of Micro Grid demonstration project now operational at utility's head office

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| Source: Powerstream
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VAUGHAN, Ontario, Nov. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PowerStream is providing a glimpse of how energy consumers may be able to go off-grid in the future through a Micro Grid demonstration project the utility officially unveiled today at the company's head office.

The event, attended by key stakeholders, partners, industry associates and the media, also featured a video which explained the Micro Grid concept and provided insights on PowerStream's demonstration project.

Micro Grids work in the same way as large-scale electricity delivery systems or a provincial grid but instead of delivering electricity to hundreds of thousands or millions of customers at a time they can be scaled down and customized to meet the needs of communities or even just one customer. Micro Grids rely on a mix of clean and renewable sources of generation and can operate independently or feed electricity back to the provincial grid.

As one of the first utilities of its size in North America to initiate a proof-of-concept trial involving this technology, PowerStream is using its demonstration project to evaluate a Micro Grid's performance while it is connected to, and also disconnected from, the provincial grid.

PowerStream's Micro Grid demonstration project marks the next phase in the company's efforts to support Smart Grid development at the provincial level and leverage innovative 'smart' technologies in Ontario's electricity sector.

The company believes that Micro Grids will be an integral part of Ontario's energy future, not only changing the way electricity is distributed, but also in providing an innovative solution to the challenge of asset renewal in large-scale electricity delivery systems and demonstrating how renewable energy can effectively help to address the growing demand for electricity.

QUOTES

  • "Micro Grid technology is an innovative way to offer Ontario consumers choices about how they generate and consume energy," said Tom Chapman, Director, Transmission and Distribution Policy for the Ministry of Energy. "Together with Smart Grid technology, Micro Grid development can help keep Ontario's energy flowing, bringing it to the businesses and consumers who need it, while providing new jobs and opportunities to create a sustainable future for energy in Ontario."
  • "We believe that Micro Grid technology will help provide our customers with additional safe, sustainable and reliable choices for meeting their energy needs in the future." said Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. "This is why PowerStream is on the forefront of testing the use of this technology."

BACKGROUND

  • PowerStream is implementing its Micro Grid in two phases, In phase one, which is currently in place, the company is drawing electricity from several sources – a solar array, a wind turbine, natural-gas generator, solar-assisted carport charging station as well as Lead Acid, Lithium Ion and Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries - in order to provide electricity for loads at its head office building such as lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration as well as to provide charging its fleet of electric vehicles. 
  • Other corporate partners involved in PowerStream's Micro Grid demonstration project include Enbridge, Enviro-Energy Technologies, General Electric, Navigant, Rosewater Energy, renewz sustainable solutions and SMA.

ABOUT POWERSTREAM

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 360,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=22427

Eric Fagen, Vice-President, Corporate Communications
Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400 
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Website: www.PowerStream.ca