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Off Grid Energy Independence
Posted on March 14, 2018

Hydro-Québec moves into microgrids

Ville de Lac-Mégantic and Hydro-Québec are teaming up to build a microgrid in the municipality's new downtown. The most advanced energy technologies will deployed in the coming years, making the neighborhood a cutting-edge technological showcase. For more information see the IDTechEx reports on Energy Harvesting: Off-Grid Microwatt to Megawatt and Batteries for Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Utility Applications.
The project will make it possible to determine how new technologies could contribute to the creation of new services for customers and help them reduce their energy consumption. The microgrid should also increase comfort for customers and help maintain service to certain buildings during outages. In addition, the microgrid will help Hydro-Québec identify ways to reduce electricity purchases during peak periods and avoid making extra investments in the power system.
The Lac-Mégantic microgrid will include about thirty residential and commercial buildings. It will feature:
  • up to 1,000 solar panels (300 kW installed capacity)
  • batteries able to store 300 kWh of energy
  • smart homes and buildings equipped with consumption management systems
  • charging stations for electric vehicles
Hydro-Québec will inject approximately $9 million into this project. Work will begin in 2018, and the microgrid is slated for commissioning in late 2019. Implementation of the microgrid will be carried out alongside the construction of the new downtown area and will be adapted as technologies evolve.
Transition énergétique Québec will be part of the project.
What is a microgrid?
Microgrids are community-centered initiatives to meet the needs of users. They may feature a range of components such as solar panels, energy storage and tools for managing energy consumption. they can be connected to Hydro-Québec's main grid or be independent from it.
"Lac-Mégantic is a city that is looking to the future and focusing on innovation. The region's commitment to sustainable development and the collective efforts to rebuild the downtown area make Lac-Mégantic the ideal place to implement the most advanced energy technologies. This project confirms the city's desire to lead the energy transition in rural areas. Our citizens are engaged and have rallied around environmental issues making them an additional asset to the success of the project. In working with Hydro-Québec, the citizens of the downtown area will get to experiment with new technologies." said Julie Morin, Mayor of Lac-Mégantic.
"I am proud that a microgrid will be integrated into the reconstruction of the downtown area, making Lac-Mégantic one of the first cities in Québec to host such a project. I would like to recognize the vision shown by the people of Lac-Mégantic, who are daring to embrace innovation on the energy front, once again providing inspiration for Quebecers." said Ghislain Bolduc, Member of the National Assembly for Mégantic.
"The Lac-Mégantic microgrid is a major step in Hydro-Québec's energy transition and technological evolution. The project will help us assess new technologies in order to eventually roll out new services for our customers. There will also be collective benefits, as the microgrid will help us identify ways to reduce our electricity purchases at peak periods and avoid extra network investments." said David Murray, President, Hydro-Québec Distribution.
Source and top image: Hydro-Quebec