Power Grid

05 Oct 2022

Canada’s Ocean Energy Smart Grid Project Reaches Milestone Testing

05 Oct 2022  by   
A smart grid controller to integrate ocean and other energy resources and regulate their distribution goes into full-scale testing.

Image: BMT/TI Innovations

The controller, almost two years in development and led by the maritime focussed design house BMT, is intended for use in distributing energy to islands and remote communities and increasing their use of renewable energy sources as a replacement for diesel power generation.

The solution is designed with commercial off-the-shelf components, along with a series of control parameters which effectively manage the energy optimisation of the resultant microgrid and balance the output from each energy source to support the required loads and users of the grid.

With a modification of the control parameters, additional unlimited renewable energy sources can be integrated.

The testing is taking place at Sustainable Marine Energy’s substation in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, with the primary renewable energy source provided by the company’s PLAT-I tidal energy device, a floating inshore tidal energy system designed for simple deployment in remote locations.

The PLAT-I was first installed for testing in 2018 and has been delivering power to the Nova Scotia grid since May.

“So far we’ve successfully tested prototypes, controlling and distributing river turbines, batteries, PV and generators to meet various load requirements,” says Martin Moody, BMT’s Principal Electrical Specialist leading the testing.

“The fact that we’ve reached a full-scale testing opportunity is a success in and of itself and is a testament to the hard work and efforts of all the teams involved. But everyone is really excited to put this thing to the ultimate test.”

The Ocean Energy Smart Grid Integration Project was launched by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster in December 2020 as part its Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program.

Other participants in the BMT-led project in addition to Sustainable Marine Energy are Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada, the University of Victoria and Turtle Island Innovations.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led cluster to drive cross-sectoral collaboration and accelerate innovation in the country’s ocean economy.

The Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program was designed for smaller projects of up to two years in length.

With successful testing, the technology should move a step closer to commercialisation and the integration of ocean energies with others, particularly for islands with limited land space for other renewables.


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