Equilibrium Engineering and StorTera of Scotland have partnered with the Town of Berwick and Dalhousie University to launch an exciting new smart grid project under Natural Resources Canada’s Power Forward Challenge.

The Power Forward Challenge is a new initiative led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in collaboration with the UK’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with the intent of accelerating the development of smart grid technologies.

The Alba Nova team of Equilibrium and StorTera flew to Ottawa with the Mayor Don Clarke and Berwick Electric’s Utility Manager Don Regan to pitch for one of three (3) Canadian finalist spots in the Power Forward Challenge. On June 19, 2019 Alba Nova was informed by NRCan that the pilot project had been selected as one of the Canadian finalists and are in the process of kickstarting this exciting $3M project.

The Pilot

The Alba Nova pilot project is focused on supporting the Town of Berwick’s existing electrical utility by installing a mixture of energy storage assets in combination with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and a novel distributed artificial intelligence control system. The project will see three large commercial energy storage systems (200-kW/500 kWh) installed at the town hall, the fire department and the waste water treatment facility.

In addition, 10 lucky homeowners will have the chance to volunteer to have a residential storage system (20-kWh) installed in their homes and possibly solar. The selected volunteers will also receive a free energy efficiency audit of their home to identify turn-key energy efficiency upgrade opportunities that will be packaged, delivered and funded through the Town of Berwick’s PACE program (www.berwickenergy.ca).

Interested homeowners can sign up to be included in the selection lottery using the link below. The selection process is planned to be wrapped up by mid September 2019 so don’t wait to get your name on the list and miss the opportunity to help shape the future of Berwick’s electric grid. Deadline for volunteer applications is noon on Sept.8th, there will be a public information session on September the 4th at 6pm at the Berwick Town Hall.

Project Goals

The ultimate goal of the Alba Nova pilot project is to increase Berwick Electric’s capacity to take on more renewable energy generation, reduce the annual demand cost paid to Nova Scotia Power through peak shaving and to ramp up energy efficiency and drive down green house gas emissions in the Town of Berwick.

Contact us at powerforward@eqeng.ca if you have any questions about the project, want to participate as a homeowner, or are media looking to find out more.

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“Today, no one knows with precision what a low- or no-carbon power future looks like. Urgency and necessity will continue to drive far-reaching technical innovation in power generation, some of it as yet unforeseen. Yet climate change itself is accepted globally as real, and carbon emissions are the major cause that must be addressed.”

-Nova Scotia’s Electricity Plan