How to take a city to 100% reliance on sustainable energy

 

A city on Canada’s Prince Edward Island is demonstrating how communities can move towards energy security and self-reliance on sustainable sources through the innovative combination of solar, wind and storage technologies. Early next year, in collaboration with Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., it will reach the 65% reliance mark – with plans to increase that to 100% in the next few years.

Dependence upon renewable energy is often limited by its volatility: you cannot control when the sun shines or the wind blows. But what if technology could help store and manage renewable energy more efficiently to maximize its use? That is exactly what the city of Summerside and Samsung Renewable Energy have achieved for the Summerside Sunbank: an innovative project that will demonstrate and commercialize the endless potential of renewable energy.

 

 

Scheduled for completion in spring of 2023, this clean technology project combines a solar farm and large-scale battery storage to provide a stable power source. The project offers the potential to further green Summerside’s electrical grid, generate wealth in the community (which owns the electrical utility), and break down some of the technical barriers in green energy use for power utilities.

The $66-million project includes a 21 MW solar power farm (48,000 solar panels) plus a 10 MW/28 MWH battery storage system, with the solar farm located on a city well-water field to maximize the use of the land base as both a source of clean drinking water and clean energy for residents. Other key partners in the project include Aspin Kemp & Associates, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the federal and provincial governments.

Completing the project will increase Summerside’s reliance on renewables to 65 per cent (approximately 46 per cent wind and 20 per cent solar) of its energy use.

 

With plans to go even further, and reach 100% reliance on solar and wind within the next three years, this municipal project will showcase the potential of net zero energy to other communities and utilities across the globe. While there are other cities currently with higher proportions of renewable energy, they tend to come from predictable sources such as hydro and geothermal options not available in many locations.

 

In the words of Mike Thususka, the City’s Director of Economic Development:

 

“This project has added to the city’s expertise in renewable storage—paving the way for even larger projects in the future. As well as plans for a third-phase project with Samsung, we are also looking to work with other innovators – especially those keen to test and validate their ideas through Summerside’s Living Lab, which offers access to city infrastructure to explore entrepreneurial opportunities that offer real-world solutions.

 

“Creating a demonstration project for their storage innovation required Samsung to find an ecosystem with sophisticated technology, a larger scale power user, and an electrical utility with an openness to try innovative products. Our partnership with Samsung demonstrates what is possible by working with Summerside.”

 

Backgrounder: how Summerside is developing a cleantech future

 

Summerside has made itself a home for a host of cleantech businesses and a case study for smart grids, information technology and adaptive technologies, and is looking to form more international business and technology exchange partnerships.

 

Specific advantages for cleantech businesses establishing a base there include:

  • City of Summerside is the cleantech centre at heart of Canada’s “Green Province”;
  • An established support infrastructure which makes it a testbed for trialling renewable energy sources;
  • A “Living Lab” testbed and “Xchange Accelerator” which gives innovators a kickstart to their ambitions;
  • Government takes an active lead by testing innovations, collaborating with the private sector, providing competitive incentives and offering space at the island’s world-class eco-business park.
  • The City offers a gateway into the North American market.

 

With plans to add significantly to the city’s renewable sources and with a municipally-owned electric utility readily available to trial innovations, Summerside has firmly established itself as a go-to-market partner for testing, validating and commercializing clean technologies.

 

Issued on behalf of Fraser International (www.fraserinternational.com) and

City of Summerside (www.bigpossibilities.ca)

Interested in scaling your company internationally?

 

We have a Special Interest Group (SIG) just for that! Our Internationalisation SIG offers cleantech companies advice on how to scale to markets such as the United States, Canada, India, China and Latin America. Watch the recording of the latest webinar from this Special Interest Group here.