PowerStream describes Micro Grids as “an integrated part of our energy future: Not only will they change the way electricity is transmitted, they represent an innovative solution to the challenge of asset renewal in large-scale electricity distribution systems and demonstrate that renewable energy can effectively help to address the growing demand for electricity.”

powerstream

After many customers stated their interest in reducing the price of electricity, PowerStream decided to take on this demonstration project. With the implementation of an integrated Micro Grid demonstration project at its head office in Vaughan, Ontario, PowerStream is one of the first utilities of its size in North America to initiate a proof-of-concept trial, evaluating the Micro Grid’s performance while it is connected to, and also disconnected from, the normal electricity distribution system.

power_stream_diagram_1

(Photo credit: Smart Grid News)

This micro grid unit contains solar and wind sources of energy which then supply power to the office building. These energy sources also charge three types of storage batteries. Additionally there is a backup diesel generator which kicks in if needed.

Micro Grids are a more resilient option for buildings or communities that face variable or severe weather systems. By diversifying multiple sources of electricity or heat, there will be mutiple backup systems keeping the supply constant. This in turn reduced the chance of day or week long blackouts.

Over all this trip was an informative tour as well as an example of what our energy future may look like!

By Kaitlyn Blake