Canada Invests in Alberta’s First Member-Owned Rural Smart Grid

News release

August 30, 2019               Red Deer, Alberta                  Natural Resources Canada

To combat climate change, Canada needs new and innovative approaches to electricity distribution. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the electricity network lowers costs, creates jobs and supports Canada’s clean energy transition.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $2.2-million investment in EQUS for a smart grid project in rural Alberta. This project will create good, middle-class jobs during construction and lower the cost of generating and distributing power to customers.

Among the smart technologies being implemented, eight micro solar photovoltaic generators and a 70 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system with battery storage will help power two electric vehicle charging stations in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The project will produce clean, renewable power and increase the use of electric vehicles, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving grid reliability — thus delivering better services to businesses, farms and residential, commercial and industrial sites in ultra-rural areas.

Once completed, this project will be the first member-owned rural smart grid in Canada.

Funding for the project comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Grid program, part of Canada’s more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.


“In order to build Canada’s energy future, the Government of Canada is working with partners like EQUS and making important investments in renewable energy. The project announced today provides a model for rural utilities to strengthen their local grids, reduce costs and create jobs, while improving environmental performance — to the benefit of all Canadians.”

- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Minister of Natural Resources

“As a co-operative, it's important that we operate sustainably for our members and the rural communities we serve. We're looking to the future, and it’s clear that we need to be developing and implementing innovative energy solutions that can power rural homes, businesses and industry in the years to come. We're excited to see the opportunities that this smart grid can create in rural Alberta and pleased that we've received such great support and recognition from the government as we move forward with this technology."

- Patricia Bourne

Quick facts

  • Serving nearly 12,000 members, EQUS is the largest member-owned utility in Canada.

  • EQUS provides electrical distribution services to commercial and industrial developments, oil and gas operations, telecommunication towers, production facilities and farms throughout 26 Alberta municipal districts and counties. 

  • The province of Alberta, through Alberta Innovates, will contribute an additional $500,000 to the project.

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Vanessa Adams

Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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