Federal Government Invests $11.8 M in Sault Ste Marie Smart Grid

Sault Ste Marie Smart Grid

Feb 13, 2019

The funding will help transform Sault Ste Marie into the first city in Canada to implement a community-wide smart grid. Once complete, the smart grid will make the city’s energy infrastructure more reliable, reduce energy loss, and lead to a more innovative economy.

PUC Distribution Inc., the local power distribution utility, has formed a private-public financing partnership that will use federal funding to improve the Sault Ste. Marie electric network system. The utility will work with Infrastructure Energy, which specializes in community-scale microgrid projects across North America.

“This smart grid project offers a glimpse into our clean energy future and represents a new wave of economic activity for the region,” said Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie at the funding announcement. “Along with job creation, new industries will be attracted to a modern grid, all while helping the environment.”

This project supports the greater use of clean power by improving the community’s electric network in order to accommodate new energy sources, including rooftop solar. This will allow more Canadians to produce their own clean power and reduce pollution.

Smarter electric networks mean lower electricity costs. Customers will benefit from better reliability, efficiency and resiliency of their local electric network, at no increased cost. Projects like this also help utilities broaden their service offerings to clients and reduce outages.

Improvements in network quality will also produce new economic opportunities for the city, as it could attract the interest of a range of industries associated with Canada’s clean energy sector. This includes manufacturing, e-commerce, telecommunications services and data centres.

Funding for the project comes from the Smart Grid Program, which is part of the federal government’s $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
Image source: Infrastructure Energy

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