For the first time ever in Ontario, commercial, industrial and institutional organizations are providing Grid Balance® (also known as regulation service), a balancing function that responds to the real-time needs of the power system.At the end of October 2013, ENBALA and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) jointly hosted an event to launch an innovative electricity grid initiative at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a leading Toronto hospital, one of its first participants. The event included speeches by the Ministry of Energy, the IESO and ENBALA, as well as a tour of Sunnybrook’s central chiller plant, which is providing a highly specialized balancing function to the power grid, a first of its kind in Ontario.
Today in Ontario, electricity generators frequently ramp up and down to match the small, moment-to-moment fluctuations in electricity demand. Now, the province of Ontario is looking for alternative and innovative ways to keep the grid in balance, engaging its large electricity customers to help match these real-time electricity fluctuations. By connecting a network of large electricity users – such as hospitals, schools, water/wastewater treatment plants and refrigerated warehouses – together using an intelligent load management platform, these local organizations can provide the same balancing support to the power system that traditionally, generators have done.
McMaster University, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Confederation Freezers, Collingwood Public Utilities and Atlantic Packaging are the first organizations in the province to use their existing electrical equipment (loads) for a secondary purpose through connection to ENBALA’s real-time, demand management platform.
So why exactly are universities, hospitals, cold storage facilities, water/wastewater treatment plants and other commercial or industrial electricity customers taking part in Ontario’s Grid Balance initiative? These forward-thinkers are:
• Supporting the reliability of Ontario’s grid
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province
• Receiving a new revenue stream
• Investing in innovative technology
• Contributing to a green environment and community
This Grid Balance initiative realizes these benefits through GOFlex, ENBALA’s intelligent load management platform. GOFlex also provides electric utilities with a broader suite of solution capabilities, such as Supply/Demand Optimization (improved generator efficiency), Wind Integration, Substation Peak Management, Dynamically Optimized Demand Response (frequent, permission-based DR), to name a few.
MaRS Discovery District, a non-for-profit Toronto corporation that supports innovative research and technology, recently posted a blog on the launch of this initiative in Ontario. The launch was also covered in the Financial Post, The North York Mirror, Electrical Business Magazine, Canadian Consulting Engineer, Renew Grid Magazine and Clean Technology Business Review.Follow @ENBALA
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