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Energy and Innovation in Economic Development

Energy Storage on an Industrial Scale

The boom in the renewable market over the past 10 years has seen Canada become one of the most successful countries adopting renewable energy into its grid system. Approximately 19% of Canada’s energy supply is now from renewable energy resources. The City of Summerside in Prince Edward Island has already procured more than 45% of its load from renewable sources. In partnership with Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., the City of Summerside is now building a smart energy storage system, integrating the City’s solar power with other renewable power and conventional energy sources. Understanding that continuing to install an array of inefficient renewable solutions on the grid is not the answer and that Summerside’s Utility and partners are addressing the real challenge of grid integration through collaboration and like-minded approaches.

The purpose of this ambitious green project is to help Summerside meet its increasing electricity demand while saving on energy costs, reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and building green tech expertise in the region. It is a demonstration project that will also serve as a model for other communities in North America wishing to collaborate with multiple partners to achieve long-term energy cost savings and environmental benefits.

Located at Credit Union Place in the City of Summerside, the smart energy storage system will blend solar power with traditional power sources and provide a cost-effective way of storing and dispatching surplus energy. The Summerside Smart Storage Demonstration Project furthers the evolution of the City’s green tech investment strategy. It has been developed to provide a platform for energy security, encourage energy conservation, and bring cleaner renewable energy onto a smarter electricity grid. The ultimate goal is to assist Summerside business growth, innovation and export development so that the City can create meaningful quality jobs and wealth as well as cost efficiencies for municipal operations.

This project aims to demonstrate a new approach to costly grid infrastructure capital investment, by integrating at-source storage and demand/supply management. The project’s primary mandate is to show how utilities can integrate storage solutions that are modular, impactful, responsive and green, while benefiting the utility grid operator, the customer and the environment.

Specifically, this demonstration will address:
•   Integration of renewables and traditional power sources
    (solar, wind, downstream technologies)
•   Storage of wind, solar and other energy generation
•   Grid integration management
•   Peak shaving
•   Back-up green energy
•   Grid connected battery storage
•   Demonstration of exportable technologies
•   Back-up battery storage
Since the development of Summerside’s wind farm, investment in clean technology has become key to advancing the City’s sustainability, economic development and environmental reputation. It is definitely a key global sector presenting promise for municipalities and business to drive economic prosperity. Summerside is well positioned to take full advantage of this limitless opportunity with partners who share our vision.

Innovation Strategy Developed
The City has just completed its position paper on renewable innovation and is working towards a public release later this summer. The strategy developed looked to answer a number of resource and capacity issues and identify approaches to the positioning of Summerside and its role in cultivating opportunities in the social, economic and environmental sectors in relation to renewable innovation.
The City of Summerside’s Renewable Innovation Strategy is positioned to pursue Commercial Scale-up innovation using an Open for Business strategy. By developing a more formalized renewable innovation ecosystem for technology demonstration and market development, Summerside is likely to create the infrastructure necessary to build on the municipality’s more abstract Living Lab framework. It is anticipated that implementing these policies will enable Summerside to deepen its innovation capacity and create a foundation to later transition to being a full-spectrum innovator through Technology Venturing.
It is the contention of the research that The City of Summerside maintains moderate renewable innovation resources and capacity. The path suggests that Summerside can enhance its renewable innovation capacity by leveraging its strengths in wind power, solar power, its smart grid, and business attractiveness, combined with developing capacities in other forms of alternative energy, workforce training, infrastructure, and stakeholder engagement. The City of Summerside is envisioned to be best positioned to pursue a Commercial Scale-up innovation mode. This would involve building capacity in technology demonstration and market development building a formalized framework for the Living Lab will promote development of the infrastructure necessary to advance Summerside’s current state of technology maturity.
The city’s renewable energy macro policy goals are to establish itself as a leader of renewable energy innovation in order to increase its energy competitiveness.  Expanding and diversifying its renewable energy portfolio is an attending big-picture goal. Modernization of its assets is another major goal, and all of the goals are interdependent and complementary. These goals will help Summerside achieve energy self-sufficiency, greater use of renewable sources, and economic development through renewable innovation. The City of Summerside is looking towards the implementation of a seven policy instruments to realize the Renewable Innovation Strategy. Specifically looking to explore: targeted labour market support, iterative product development, interactive learning, standards and quality certification, smart grid extension, subsidize renewable ecosystem, and public procurement.
Summerside has already created an abstract model – in the form of the Living Lab – that has proven to be a significant investment attractor and has demonstrated high market potential. To pursue an Open for Business strategy, the City of Summerside will look to enact a number of policies to further develop the Living Lab by creating more formalized and tangible models to attract foreign and Canadian investment and grow local opportunities. By building capabilities in technology demonstration and market development, it is hoped that the City of Summerside will create a foundation for a transition to the research and development activities associated with Technology Venturing at a larger scale.
We encourage readers to check back in early fall for the full release of Summerside’s Innovation strategy.

Contact Information:
Michael Thususka
Director of Economic Development
City of Summerside
275 Fitzroy Street
Summerside PE C1N 1H9
M: 902.432.0103

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