In May 2009, the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) was enacted, which defined the smart grid as “the advanced information exchange systems and equipment that when utilized together improve the flexibility, security, reliability, efficiency, and safety of the integrated power system and distribution systems.”
The SGF complements Ontario’s GEA smart grid policy as well as supporting existing government priorities. The Ministry of Energy, which administers the SGF, describes the fund as a “discretionary, non-entitlement program… and funding will be awarded on a competitive basis.”
Many smart grid companies are already based in Ontario, providing products and services for the electricity sector. The Smart Grid Fund is designed to build on that foundation by offering financial support to Ontario-based projects that are “testing, demonstrating and commercializing the next generation of smart grid solutions and building market competitiveness. The Smart Grid Fund will also enhance Ontario’s reputation as an attractive jurisdiction for investing in, developing, manufacturing and implementing smart grid technologies.”
The Smart Grid Fund has two project categories: Capacity-Building Projects and Demonstration Projects. Capacity-Building Projects will help organizations acquire and operationalize assets for developing and producing smart grid solutions. Capacity-building projects will also enhance Ontario’s ability to manufacture and develop smart grid products, services and solutions, strengthening this growing sector and creating jobs.
Demonstration projects will promote the development and design of pilot-scale prototypes of smart grid technologies. In cooperation with local distribution companies, demonstration projects will help identify risks, opportunities and costs associated with integrating smart grid technology into the electricity system and test whether specific technologies can be used on a larger scale.
For additional program information, detailed program Guidelines, and how to apply to the Fund, visit www.ontario.ca/smartgridfund. The SGF is accepting Project Overview Submissions up to –and no later than—4:00 pm (EDT) May 27, 2011.