Canadian Manufacturing

Schneider Electric partners with NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation to bring energy solutions to Alberta businesses

Phase Two of the Centre adds Schneider Electric microgrid solutions to support growing distributed energy landscape

March 19, 2021  by CM Staff

NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation (CNW Group/Schneider Electric Canada Inc.)

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Schneider Electric has partnered with Edmonton’s Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to help bring phase two of the polytechnic’s Centre for Grid Innovation to reality. Slated for completion this June, phase two extends the capabilities of the centre by adding new distributed energy resources (DERs) and installing Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation (EMO), providing Alberta businesses with the physical assets and technical expertise required to test their DERs.

“Distributed energy resources are becoming an increasingly favourable option for consumers and distribution entities, especially as new technologies like electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity,” said Frederick Morency, Vice President of Services, Schneider Electric, in a prepared statement. “NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation is an exciting step forward for Alberta’s changing energy landscape, providing small and medium enterprises with the ability to develop, test and optimize their solutions against real-world factors. We’re excited to partner with NAIT to support Alberta’s growing distributed electricity sector.”

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation (EMO) and Microgrid Advisor for Energy Optimization and Economic Dispatch will be installed in the centre as part of phase two. A robust, scalable and user-friendly solution provides automatic and remote management of DERs to maximize renewable energy use. Additionally, it allows users to set up operating conditions or implement customized control schemes to allow testing in both connected and off grid mode and create grid transition scenarios.

“NAIT is proud to assist Alberta’s industry in adopting and testing new technologies that will support our province’s growing demand for integrating distributed energy resources,” said Sandra Marocco, Vice-President Industry Partnerships and Chief Marketing Officer, NAIT. “Our partnership with Schneider Electric is crucial in developing the infrastructure that our Centre for Grid Innovation uses to support companies in developing, testing, validating, and advancing products and training in the distributed energy field.”

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As the role of DERs in today’s changing energy landscape continues to grow, NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation and its partners are positioned to accelerate the transformation from traditional power grids to a renewable and distributed model. Established in 2018, the centre provides partners with access to a plug-and-play microgrid to develop, test and demonstrate technologies prior to commercialization; compare energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions of various technologies, and train staff on the deployment, maintenance and operation of DERs.