Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario to get $40M smart grid technology centre

R&D centre in Markham will create 150 jobs

TORONTO—GE Canada is building a $40-million research and development centre for smart grid technologies.

The 200,000-square foot facility in Markham, Ont. will develop technologies for electrical grids both in Ontario and globally. Half of that space will be dedicated for manufacturing.

The province is providing a $7.9 million grant for GE’s Grid IQ Innovation Centre. The facility is expected to be completed by July of next year.

Elyse Allen, GE president and CEO, said the new centre will create 150 new jobs over the next four years.

“The jobs will be a combination of research and development, commercialization and manufacturing. We also expect additional jobs to be created for suppliers and in construction,” Allen said.

The centre will design and build grid technologies such as devices that detect outages and re-route power accordingly or keep essential buildings running during power disruptions.

Allen says these kinds of products will have applications in Ontario’s evolving power grid, but also globally, where energy demand is expected to increase 75 per cent by 2030.

Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said that presents “tremendous” opportunities for the province.

“Virtually every country is either developing or modernizing their energy system,” Pupatello said.

Emerging markets such as Latin America and India are “desperate for these technologies,” she said, adding the new centre will help place Ontario at the cutting edge of the market.

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