ChallengeIn 2011, the Canadian province of New Brunswick decided it was time to “lay out a strategy for the province’s energy future”. The basis for this was its ‘Energy Blueprint’, a ten-year plan that called for a forward-looking approach, with a particular focus on the area’s chief electrical utility, NB Power. Not only did the electrical supply system require modernization, but greater customer choice, control and education were also needed to help balance consumption and generation. NB Power’s aim was to become a global reference for the ‘utility of the future’, providing load-following generation capabilities and sustainable electricity, while also placing even more focus on its customers and reduce rate increases.
SolutionIn collaboration with Siemens, NB Power announced its Reduce and Shift Demand (RASD) modernization plan in July 2012, a multi-year agreement to integrate smart grid technology into New Brunswick’s electrical system. Using Smart Grid Compass methodology, Siemens has designed a road map for NB Power that will utilize its Demand Response Management System (DRMS) and Decentralized Energy Management Suite (DEMS), allowing the utility to manage electricity distribution in a more flexible, intelligent and efficient way. A comprehensive KPI catalog supports budget planning, giving a clear overview of aspects such as peak reduction and energy saved, among others.
BenefitsA key part of the agreement involved Siemens establishing a Smart Grid Center of Competence in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, in addition to a global product development lab, which will host both the design and rollout of smart grid software. The two will bring a combined total of around 40 new jobs to Fredericton.
In addition, Siemens has also committed to research partnerships with local universities, including the University of New Brunswick, for cash and in-kind support amounting to $2.5 M (CAD).
For end-consumers, the new technology means that they will have more choice about how and when they use their electricity in future as NB Power is able to expand its services. The Siemens technology will enable the utility to introduce innovations such as information dashboards and smart thermostats.