Nova Scotia Power engages eager Elmsdale residents to test Intelligent Feeder pilot project

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Nova Scotia Power engages eager Elmsdale residents to test Intelligent Feeder pilot project

February 8, 2018

HALIFAX – You can feel the energy in Elmsdale as Nova Scotia Power embarks on a cutting-edge project with industry leaders to learn more about how battery storage can help the utility deliver cleaner, affordable and more reliable energy to Nova Scotians.  

The pilot project, known as the Intelligent Feeder, involves the installation of residential energy storage batteries (Tesla Powerwalls) at 10 homes in the Elmsdale community and a much larger grid-sized battery (Tesla Powerpack) at the Elmsdale substation. These batteries will be connected and feed into an electrical line powered, in part, by the nearby Hardwood Lands wind turbines. Sensors will be placed on the powerline to monitor and gather data about local system activity and be fed back to Nova Scotia Power’s control centre for analysis and planning of Nova Scotia’s future energy needs.

“Battery storage technology is the next big thing in terms of how Nova Scotia Power will be able to provide that reliable, ‘always on’ service to our customers,” said Jill Searle, Senior Program Manager with Nova Scotia Power. “Tesla Powerwalls and Powerpack will allow us to test the capability of providing customers with back-up power through a battery so they have electricity when they need it most. It will be a game changer for our industry and our customers.”

Ten Elmsdale families were selected to participate in the pilot project following an open application process. Each household received a Powerwall that will be theirs to keep after the project is over, and the opportunity to experience the customer benefits – including fewer and shorter power outages – first hand.

Mark Candow and his family live in Elmsdale and are one of the Powerwall recipients. “I travel all over Atlantic Canada, and seeing the amount of wind farms in Nova Scotia is an encouraging sign just in itself. Now paired with the Powerwalls, I think it's fantastic. We care a lot about contributing to a sustainable energy future for our two young boys."

The future potential of integrating battery storage and intermittent renewable energy - such as wind power – for electricity generation is an exciting prospect being explored globally, and Nova Scotia Power is proud to be one of the first to partner with industry leaders to test this technology solution in Canada. MPOWER Energy Solutions, Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer for the project, has confirmed that these are the first Tesla Powerwall 2 installations in Atlantic Canada. As Nova Scotia Power adds more renewable energy to the grid, batteries can provide the utility with more flexibility to reliably address peak electricity demand with stored energy. As this technology advances, Nova Scotia Power will be able to apply learnings from the pilot project to create value for its customers.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Nova Scotia Power on this project, and use our expertise to help them find the right technology solutions that will work for their customers and their electrical system,” said Hari Subramaniam, Opus One Solutions, which is providing the software that monitors and gathers electrical system activity. “We have worked with organizations all over the world, and we’re impressed with the creativity and skill we have experienced working with Nova Scotia Power on this project over the past several months.”

All 10 Powerwall installations have been completed and initial data collection and monitoring is underway. The installation of the Powerpack battery at the Elmsdale substation is currently in progress and expected to be completed later this month.

Nova Scotia Power is focused on providing cleaner, more reliable electricity service to Nova Scotians, and is embracing innovation to help best serve customers and the environment today and into the future. The company has already tripled its renewable energy generation over the past decade, achieving 28 per cent renewable electricity generation in 2016 and is on track to meet 40 per cent renewable energy in 2020.  

The Intelligent Feeder project is being delivered by Nova Scotia Power in partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Opus One Solutions.

For more information on the Intelligent Feeder project and to watch a video of a home Powerwall installation, visit nspower.ca/intelligentfeeder.