Federal investment supports innovation in Alberta’s electricity grid

News release

NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation will help companies develop, test, and demonstrate innovative power generation technologies

April 25, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Canada’s future prosperity goes hand-in-hand with a sustainable and clean environment. A clean economy creates growth and well-paying jobs, while preserving Canada’s natural heritage for generations to come.

Today, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $1,889,500 in funding towards Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)’s new Centre for Grid Innovation (CGI). This new facility will promote innovation and growth in Alberta’s clean technology sector.

Through this investment, the CGI, which will be located at NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC), will help companies explore innovative power generation technologies and move them to market by providing a 'plug and play' microgrid to develop, test and demonstrate new grid technology and renewable energy prototypes. The facility will also help foster partnerships between businesses, utilities providers and vendors.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.

Quotes

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation builds on our competitive advantages and will result in small businesses testing new grid technologies and bringing them to market, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“The Centre for Grid Innovation will help companies develop important technologies that could transform the electricity industry in Western Canada and beyond. By supporting initiatives like this, the Government of Canada is ensuring that Canadian businesses are competitive in the global low-carbon economy.”

- Randy Boissonnault Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues

“The Centre for Grid Innovation will allow NAIT’s industry partners to develop new technologies that will strengthen the utilities sector.  I want to express our appreciation to the Government of Canada for their contribution to this centre.”

- Dr. Glenn Feltham, President and CEO, NAIT

Quick facts

  • CGI will help companies develop new grid technologies that may result in a bi-directional grid, where consumers can also be producers by harnessing energy alternatives such as solar, wind, batteries, and combined heat and power.

  • CGI aims to address challenges such as managing the remote control of assets; forecasting the generating capacity of new technologies; assuring grid protection; managing bi-directional energy flows and connections; certification and testing of new technologies; and resilience against cyber attacks.

Associated links

Contacts

Donna Kinley
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
780-902-2984
donna.kinley@canada.ca

Marta Gold
Media Relations
NAIT
780-378-6936 / 780-916-8307 (cell)
media@nait.ca

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