News

PowerShift Atlantic is a collaboration of electric utilities in the Maritimes and their customers working together in a research project that will make a lasting difference for our region and our environment.

PowerShift Atlantic is studying acceptable ways to shift when electricity flows to homes and businesses, without inconveniencing customers.

Through a combination of intelligent hardware and software solutions and improved wind forecasting tools, Maritime utilities are shifting power supply to specific electrical equipment in homes and businesses to better align energy supply with wind generation availability.

Each end-to-end system is unique in its technical solution, target end uses and aggregation services. Various steps, including customer recruitment and engagement, have been taken to ensure that each utility is well positioned to scale up to the number of desired customer test sites.

By remotely managing the on, off, up and down times of the equipment – shifting cycles a few minutes here and there and combining loads from many customers – PowerShift Atlantic can demonstrate ways to optimize wind-generated energy, without requiring any change in customer behavior.

Diagram: Shifting

The shift is unnoticeable and energy-neutral, but the smoother demand curve allows better use of wind generation when it’s available. The project is an examination of effective energy use and resource balancing that could help electric utilities around the world use their renewable energy resources and manage customer supply more effectively. Learn more about How It Works.

PowerShift Atlantic is a multi-year initiative. Launched in 2010, research is now in progress and will last up until the end of the demonstration portion of the project when significant data allows for evaluation.

Four demonstration projects are underway, led by the electric utility companies serving our three Canadian Maritime provinces.  Residential and commercial customers have been connected, and will participate for a full, one-year demonstration period. The project evaluates the intelligent load management solution targeting 26 MW of connected load (about the amount needed to power the greater Charlottetown area, or slightly less than the city of Fredericton).

Development of all components to allow end-to-end testing is complete. Infrastructure is in place to implement the Virtual Power Plant and aggregators, install required equipment, perform load management, test end-to-end functionality and start measuring results. Presently customer engagement is focused on recruiting and connecting commercial sites.

PowerShift Atlantic research is beginning to attract international attention with awards and mentions: the project was referenced in a 2011 U.S. Department of Energy white paper as “the first project in the world to use aggregated load for the integration of wind power into the system.” The project has also been awarded a 2012 CEA Sustainable Electricity Award and the CanWEA R.J. Templin Award  in the Group Leadership Award Category.

PowerShift Atlantic is the first project of its kind in Canada.  It is led by Natural Resources Canada through the Clean Energy Fund and by New Brunswick Power, in partnership with Saint John Energy, Maritime Electric, Nova Scotia Power, New Brunswick System Operator, the University of New Brunswick (UNB), and the Governments of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Learn more about Our Partners.

This research project is a chance for the Maritime Provinces to play a role in advancing the adoption of clean renewable energy sources and help create a better legacy for future generations of Maritimers.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Norma McCarthy
Customer Engagement
PowerShift Atlantic
Email: nmccarthy@nbpower.com

NB Power
Deborah Nobes
Phone:  506.458.4838
Email:  dnobes@nbpower.com

Nova Scotia Power
Neera Ritcey
Phone: 902.428.6743
Email: neera.ritcey@nspower.ca

Maritime Electric
Kris Jackson
Phone: 902.629.3821
Email: jacksonkr@maritimeelectric.com

Saint John Energy
Marta Kelly
Phone: 506.658.5271
Email: Marta.Kelly@sjenergy.com

University of New Brunswick
Gregoire Carriere
Phone: 506.453.4546
Email: Gregoire.carriere@unb.ca