Fiber-enabled smart grid initiative launched on Prince Edward Island
DECEMBER 22, 2010 -- The City of Summerside, the second largest city on Prince Edward Island, Canada, will use technology from Tantalus to tie together the municipality’s fiber-to-the-meter network, wind-generated power, and in-home energy storage devices.
DECEMBER 22, 2010 -- The City of Summerside, the second largest city on Prince Edward Island, Canada, will use technology from Tantalus to tie together the municipality’s fiber-to-the-meter network, wind-generated power, and in-home energy storage devices. The smart grid project is designed to enable the city to optimize the performance of its distribution network and reduce its carbon footprint by providing consumers with a reliable, low cost source of renewable energy.
Tantalus says its system will enable Summerside to measure, monitor, and control devices connected to its distribution network including special furnaces that can be charged with power generated by wind turbines. The ability to automatically turn energy storage devices on and off when wind is on the grid using two-way Tantalus technology will enable Summerside to shift to stored power whenever peak load conditions arise, while using the less expensive energy to heat homes at night.
Terry Murphy, Summerside’s chief administrative officer, said that wind is expected to satisfy roughly half of the city’s power needs over the course of a year. Furthermore, when the wind is blowing at full tilt, it can sometimes produce a surplus of energy that Summerside can sell back to other utilities, accelerating the payback on this large infrastructure project.
“But you can’t flip a switch and turn on the wind,” he added. “Our ability to capture as much clean power as possible in the storage units whenever the wind is blowing, and then quickly access this power source as needed is what makes this system so efficient and unique.”
Summerside’s wind farm has been providing power to the city for over a year. Roll out of Tantalus smart meters and energy storage devices begins in January 2011. The city will run fiber to each home participating in the program.
When finished, the fiber network could be used to provide triple-play communications services at a symmetrical 1 Gbps. Tantalus asserts local high technology businesses have expressed interest in this possibility.