Project SPEEDIER is partially funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Grid Program
Our generation is facing a climate crisis: “a code red for humanity,” says United Nations Secretary General Angonio Guteres. Human activities and our reliance on fossil fuels are largely to blame for ongoing global warming and increased extreme weather events. Change will require innovative thinking, the adoption of new technologies, and a global effort towards net zero emissions by 2050.
Parry Sound, Ontario, a municipality of more than 6,000 residents, is leading change in our region. Local leaders saw increasing energy demands and aging infrastructure as an opportunity for innovation. Lakeland Holdings Inc., comprised of Lakeland Power, Bracebridge Generation and Lakeland Energy, proposed an alternative to costly upgrades: implement smart grid technologies collectively known as project SPEEDIER (Smart Proactive Enabled Energy Distribution Intelligently Efficiently Responsive). The SPEEDIER project is a network of initiatives that includes the installation of a 500-kilowatt Solar Net Metering Solution and a Tesla Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) located at the former landfill site and DC Electric Vehicle Fast Chargers that will help to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Additionally, 50 residents opened their homes as test sites for Mello Smart Hot Water Tank controllers to manage load demand.
For the past year, Georgian College’s department of Research and Innovation and Professor Scott McCrindle have worked with Bracebridge Generation to determine the existing emissions that would be negated by deploying each of the SPEEDIER assets considering product specifications, deferred or removed electricity generation, industry best practices, and vendor data. “This important research is an example of the type of work required to develop more sustainable energy systems – work that will require the courage and imagination of people who are willing to do things differently,” says McCrindle. Bracebridge Generation already produces green energy through their 3.25-megawatt waterpower generation plant, and this will be supplemented by project SPEEDIER solar and storage.
The SPEEDIER team is pleased to announce that the completion of baseline reporting shows significant reduction potential as soon as Earth Day 2022. This report outlines the potential reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by deploying these assets onto the Parry Sound electricity grid. “These types of smart grid technologies can improve grid resilience, responsiveness, and flexibility, while also producing verifiable reductions in GHG emissions,” says McCrindle. The success of the SPEEDIER project will mean Parry Sound has a clean source of power available and the ability to store extra power when running on clean sources. Then at peak times of demand for electricity, the stored clean energy can be deployed to reduce reliance on electricity produced from non-renewable sources that generate GHG emissions.
The SPEEDIER project will create jobs in an innovative and transformative field and is a key component towards Parry Sound’s goal of becoming one of the first Net Zero communities in Canada. “It takes a bit of imagination and hard work to put it together, but we all need to be involved in mitigation efforts related to climate change. We have tremendous human capital and need to accelerate investments to make sure we adapt,” says McCrindle. Parry Sound and the SPEEDIER project hope to be an example that other municipalities can follow in the future.
To learn more about the SPEEDIER project please visit speedier.ca.
To find out more about Georgian’s Research and Innovation department and to learn more about partnership opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org.