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Essex Power Corporation

Smart Grid Innovation

Grid resiliency is key in supporting grid reliability, electricity generation, transmission and distribution. With climate change becoming more prominent in coming years, Canada is expected to have severe weather events occurring more frequently. To achieve resiliency across the province and across Canada, and to ensure reliability of the grid through severe weather events, utilities and technology companies alike are urged to come up with solutions for grid modernization and decentralization. Essex Power Corporation and its group of forward-thinking companies, are developing a self-healing grid that will help modernize the grid and increase reliability. In addition, the Self-Healing Grid project will enable consumers to participate in conservation and electrification efforts through Distributed Energy Resource (DER) deployment.

Self Healing Grid

The Self-Healing Grid attempts to overcome the uncertainties of the distribution system. With severe storms and the addition of distributed energy resources in the future, the distribution system is facing many challenges with managing loss of supply incidences and providing grid level flexibility. The Self-Healing Grid is a tool used to help balance the needs of the consumers with the needs of the grid by reducing the impact of Loss of Supply incidents and by providing grid level flexibility to allow for DER deployment through elevated visibility and responsiveness to the grid.

For the past few years, EPC’s local distribution company, Essex Powerlines Corporation, has been installing equipment that uses technology such as sensors, monitoring, communications, automation and computers to improve flexibility, reliability and efficiency of the electricity system. The data obtained from automated technologies in the field are leveraged in an engineering software called SmartMAP. SmartMAP increases the visibility and flexibility of the distribution system by making information readily available for key departments within local distribution companies.

In addition, 21st century control room services were brought to EPC and its group of companies through a recent strategic partnership with fellow GridSmartCity partner, Oakville Hydro. The Control Room services leverage SmartMAP to help improve outage response time, data accuracy, and overall customer services, adding to the vision of the “self-healing grid”.

Overall, the automated technologies and control room services are important tools which allow EPC to obtain, and make sense of, a significant amount of data in order to create an automated, resilient grid: The Self-Healing Grid.