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UNB to develop smart grid solutions for industry and utilities

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 20, 2017

Category: UNB Fredericton

Funding of more than $4.3 million will help refine technology to promote renewable energy

Investing in next-generation clean energy infrastructure and technologies will advance Canada’s efforts to build a clean economy, meet the world’s future energy needs and help realize our climate change goals.

Thanks to an investment of more than $4.3 million from the Government of Canada and Emera Inc., the University of New Brunswick (UNB) will build on existing smart grid expertise infrastructure and refine technology to deliver solutions for renewable energy.

Matt DeCourcey, member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), joined officials from Emera and the University of New Brunswick to make the announcement today.

The project includes designing, building, testing and demonstrating a suite of distributed energy resource solutions for commercialization by industry and implementation by utilities. Emera, a publicly traded energy and services company, will deploy and test the project results within its system network at Barbados Light and Power. After testing in a real-world environment, the results will be refined and validated through industry players, users, suppliers, regulators and others.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $2.8 million through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, as well as $82,100 through NSERC towards this initiative. Emera is providing $1.4 million towards this project.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create growing, innovative businesses with global reach, to strengthen regional economies, and lead to good jobs for all Canadians. This investment also builds on the Atlantic Growth Strategy.


“Technology and innovation are key to the future of Canada’s economy. Our government continues to work with partners to invest in clean technologies that lead to better jobs, better opportunities and a better living standard for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
- Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development and minister responsible for ACOA and NSERC

“Smart grid solutions is an emerging market sector that will become increasingly critical as utilities transition from fossil fuels to more efficient and reliable systems using renewable energy. Investing in UNB’s smart grid project represents a world first in research and commercialization, and will help us create jobs and build a clean-growth economy.”
- Matt DeCourcey, member of Parliament for Fredericton

“The Government of Canada is committed to creating a culture of innovation in which businesses and institutions work together to develop projects like this one between UNB and Emera. This important initiative is all about growing the economy and protecting the environment, while supporting long term prosperity for Atlantic Canadians.”
- Karen Ludwig, member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest

“The partnership we’ve formed to become leaders in advanced smart grid technologies is having a global impact. Our success would not be possible without our government and industry partners. After more than a decade of work by many researchers and students here, UNB is now playing a key role in advancing the transformation of conventional power grids around the world.”
- Dr. Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor, University of New Brunswick

“We’re excited to support innovation-focused research towards creating a 100 per cent clean electricity supply. We believe the kind of technology being developed at UNB will play a critical role in making it possible for 100 per cent renewable energy to be affordable and reliable to serve our customers in the future.”
- Chris Huskilson, president & CEO, Emera Inc.


  • Ann Kenney, Senior Communications Officer, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, 506-452-3687
  • Martin Leroux, Senior Communications Advisor, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, 613-943-7618
  • Natasha Ashfield, Communications Officer, University of New Brunswick, 506-447-3012
  • Simon Couper, Manager, Communications, Emera, 902-240-0531

Photo: UNB's Dr. Liuchen Chang and his team are a step closer to making it possible for utility companies to use 100 per cent renewable energy because of a $4.3 million investment from ACOA, Emera Inc. and NSERC. Credit: Rob Blanchard / Photo UNB.