Launched in 2010 as part of the Clean Energy Fund, PowerShift Atlantic is a collaborative research project led in partnership by New Brunswick Power, Saint John Energy, Maritime Electric, Nova Scotia Power, New Brunswick System Operator, the University of New Brunswick, Natural Resources Canada, the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of Prince Edward Island.
This four-year, innovative program will run until 2014, piloting technology that shifts energy supply to specific appliances in homes and commercial buildings in order to optimize wind generation with minimal or no disruption to participating electric utility customers.
The Maritime Provinces have a unique opportunity to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels and create a more efficient electrical grid based on clean and renewable energy generation. The purpose of the project is to determine if shifting patterns of energy consumption through load control can enable utilities to more effectively integrate renewable energy such as wind. Wind energy is a clean, renewable energy source that has an important role in our electricity system. However, as a natural resource, it's more unpredictable and irregular than traditional generation.
One solution to working with the variability of wind generation is to shift the energy being delivered to homes and commercial buildings at times when it isn't needed. The goal is to experiment and find acceptable ways to shift when electricity flows to homes and businesses, with minimal or no disruption or inconvenience to a customer.
The research project employs a new technical architecture, including a Virtual Power Plant that can balance demand against the variability of wind generation. While current research is focused on wind energy, what we learn may be relevant for optimizing other sources of renewable energy generation.
PowerShift Atlantic gives all of us a chance to make a positive difference for our region and our environment. It’s an opportunity for the Maritimes to play a leadership role in speeding up the adoption of clean renewable energy sources and help create a better legacy for future generations.
See how residential and commercial customers are an important part of the program. Contact nspower.ca or visit powershiftatlantic.ca to learn more.