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Ocean energy smart grid integration project

The project will commercialize the integration of ocean energy solutions to help reduce the dependence on diesel power generation in rural communities and increase the opportunity to use renewable energy sources.

17 December 2020

Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced four new projects with a total value of $4.5 million from its Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP) stream, including the Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project. This Ontario-led project brings together SMEs and other partners in ocean innovation to provide cost-effective integration of ocean energy generators into communities.

With a total project value of $975,000, the Ocean Supercluster will provide $633,750 in funding for the project, with $341,250 coming from industry partners. BMT partners with Sustainable Marine, University of Victoria, Rainhouse, and Turtle Island Innovation to lead the ‘Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project’. 

Together the partners will commercialize the integration of ocean energy solutions to help reduce the dependence on diesel power generation in rural communities and increase the opportunity to use renewable energy sources.

Darcy Byrtus, President of BMT in Canada, said:

"We are excited to partner with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and our teammates at Sustainable Marine to further the development of a smart electrical grid solution for remote communities using ocean energy generators. The Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program of the Ocean Supercluster is providing a unique opportunity to advance a truly innovative system that we believe has the potential to transform energy distribution in remote coastal communities."

The Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project will develop a single controller with algorithms for different communities, whereas there is currently a bespoke design for each ward. With this solution, algorithms are selected and parameterized based on the ratings of the equipment.

The technology development will support the greening of energy for communities of all sizes with global market opportunities. Still, it will also create new economic activity, build capabilities in ocean energy-intelligent grid integration, and complete five new jobs.

The International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Ocean Energy Systems (OES) recently released a report called Ocean Energy in Islands and Remote Coastal Areas.  The report highlighted the market opportunity for ocean energy technologies in remote areas due to the high cost of electricity. Diesel generators often supply infrastructure where the electricity demand is slight, such as submarine cables to connect to utility networks.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling the shared challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally-relevant solutions while building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The Ocean Supercluster supplemented its core programs with an additional project stream called Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP) to encourage innovation and trigger new industry investment during these challenging times. The project enables the development of smaller projects on a shorter timeline that delivers tangible outcomes while building resiliency in our ocean sectors.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said

“The Ocean Supercluster is driving innovation in the ocean economy by investing in areas where Canada has a competitive edge. The four projects announced today demonstrate the depth of expertise that the Supercluster is fostering within the ocean economy, ranging from smart, green electricity grids to artificial intelligence-informed seafood traceability.” 

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said

“The projects we are funding under the Ocean Supercluster will play a vital role in Canada’s emerging blue economy.  Improving underwater imaging and offshore infrastructure inspections will allow us to grow our marine industries more safely and sustainably. Our government will continue to invest in ocean science and technology, so we can get more Canadians working on and in our oceans.”

Kendra MacDonald, the CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, said

“The Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project is an exciting new project from our Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program that will not only deliver new economic activity in the ocean but also help deliver environmental benefits by increasing the opportunity for renewable energy in communities of all sizes.” 

“This technology partnership has the potential to address energy challenges experienced by remote and island communities in Canada and around the world. These challenges include economic vulnerability due to the volatility of fuel prices, a lack of supplier diversity, higher likelihoods of disruption, and high carbon footprints.

Jason Hayman, CEO of Sustainable Marine, said:

The team at Sustainable Marine have demonstrated that we can produce clean and predictable power from tidal streams, and we are looking forward to working with BMT and the rest of the team to turn the power we produce into dispatchable power that can displace fossil fuel generation for the island and remote coastal communities.”

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