Project Overview

Canada, as a whole, is supporting clean energy technologies that encourage energy efficiency and bring cleaner renewable energy onto a smarter electricity network. Saint John Energy’s new Smart Energy Project will utilize artificial intelligence to help optimize the system. This innovation will result in cost efficiencies and ensure a more resilient and reliable power system for our customers.

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We have some of the highest peak energy costs in Canada. This project is aimed at aggressively attacking the peak, which could further stabilize rates.

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SJE’s peak is 97% coincidental with the provincial system. Anything we can do to reduce our peak contributes to the reduction of the provincial peak and the requirement to operate legacy fossil fuel peaking plants.

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Our customers have told us they want innovative solutions that improve their quality of life and help the environment. This project will build on that by providing smart consumer products.

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This project will improve the security of how our smart grid will operate in the future.

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This project is an innovative approach to solving a problem that all utilities face. This project will drive investment in local business and the smart grid entrepreneurial eco-system as SJE and its key partners will be developing solutions that can be exported to other utilities.

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Solar and wind energy are becoming increasingly important. This project will be aimed at addressing some of the intermittent challenges presented by renewables by smoothing the load shape.

Smart energy means smart consumer products and savings through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML):

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The Investment

The total cost of this project is $11.7M, which includes both cash and in-kind contributions. SJE will leverage the NRCan funding to upgrade previously planned investments to smarter and more innovative solutions.

Participate

We need property owners and businesses to participate in the development of this smart energy project. If you’d like to be part of this, fill out our application form.

 

How the Project Works

The Project aims to demonstrate that weather forecasts and other relevant data can be correlated with the utility load shape such that system peaks and valleys can be accurately predicted in advance. The machine-learned predictability of the load shape will be utilized to dispatch electrical storage (utility-scale and residential-scale batteries, electric vehicles), thermal storage devices (hot water tanks, heat pump energy storage), and load control elements (baseboard heaters, heat pumps, and standby generators), such that the system will be optimized. The dispatching algorithm will consider the unique value proposition of each distributed energy resource.

The Project will develop a significant level of artificial intelligence and machine-learning sophistication required to make timely and cost-effective decisions to smooth the system load profile and efficiency. Following the successful demonstration of the Project, a confident and aggressive mass deployment can occur for Saint John Energy, as well as other local distribution utilities.

This demonstration project consists of three main elements, which will be developed and integrated as a complete interrelated package: Smart Energy Resources, an Integrated System Manager, and a Smart Control Centre.

Next Steps

SJE is working to finalize the key partners for this project (to be announced shortly).