Samsung Renewable Energy Inc, hereinafter referred to as Samsung, has partnered with the City of Summerside on a renewable energy demonstration project. The “smart storage” system will seamlessly blend solar power with traditional power sources and provide a costeffective way of storing and dispatching surplus energy. Storing energy is not new for small applications, but is still in its infancy when ramped up to an industrial/utility scale. The following explains where the innovation of the Samsung — Summerside partnership steps in to overcome the challenge.
Early discussions between the City of Summerside and Samsung C&T have been underway since early in 2016. Both partners discovered a fitting role and together identified the potential of a dynamic team to find renewable and storage applications to bring grid parity to renewable applications.
The project‘s renewable component is a solar farm at the city’s Credit Union Place. A massive battery coupled to an advanced electronic design is capable of a full array of system management controls for the facility’s utility.
“This project helps us take the next step the city’s important growth in the innovation sector,” said Summerside Mayor Bill Martin.
Samsung choosing of Summerside as its partner marks a major achievement for the city’s “Living Lab” program. The Living part refers to doing what’s practical and feasible to enhance everyday life. The Lab part refers to testing promising new ideas in the city’s quest to develop cleaner, affordable, and faster ways of doing business in the real world.
“We pride ourselves on the unique assets and programs Summerside has to offer business, and this project is one more example of how the city collaborates to support business expansion in North America,” Martin said. “Our community has the robust and sophisticated infrastructure and team approach to support business growth.”
For Samsung C&T, this project is important. Validating new green technology in Summerside positions Samsung to export the system to other areas of the continent. Summerside represents a natural partner, since it boasts its own electrical utility, green technology and other resources — as well as a small, and therefore approachable, and responsive municipal government.
“Samsung is honoured to partner with City of Summerside” said Steve Cho, President of Samsung Renewable Energy. “This project, we believe, will be a cornerstone for Summerside’s new endeavor in smart energy infrastructure which aims to benefit real people across the city and the province. It will open up opportunities for both the City and Samsung to discover ways to integrate the system into the community’s infrastructure and ultimately embark on a new era of smart energy system across Canada.”
To help fund this project, the City of Summerside was poised to invest in diesel generation as a backup power system for the facility. Instead, Summerside will invest $1.5 million, with additional $1.5 million, and this, along with an additional grant from the Innovative Communities Fund of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will show case how innovations in technology can displace conventional methods of energy production, storage and backup.
The community will greatly benefit right from the start of the project. For instance, Credit Union Place will begin saving $105,000 a year in power savings. In Addition, as a greener public facility, its carbon footprint will be significantly smaller, which translates into a reduction in the burden to local taxpayers of the new carbon tax soon to come to PEI. Also, eventual replacement costs of a brand new electrical system can be deferred well into the future.
Economically, the initial start‐up alone will generate an estimated $750,000 in paid work for local contractors and engineers. The project will also help build local expertise in green technology and launch Summerside as a centre of renewable excellence.
On a national and international scale, the Summerside project is solidly behind the federal government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to invest in clean technology and to encourage sustainable economic growth and export potential.
The current memorandum of understanding between the City of Summerside and Samsung C&T allows the partners to jointly refine designs and technical specifications. Construction is expected to start April 2017 and operations could begin as early as August.