The main drawback with wind generation is simply that it is unreliable. Unlike traditional forms of energy generation the wind cannot be turned on or off, as needed. The solution to providing enough reliable energy from sustainable natural resources is a key part in the battle to resolve not only our own energy needs but those of our children and grandchildren. The Canadian city of Summerside, Prince Edward Islands second largest city, has been working towards supplying energy through Wind Generation for some time now. The application of Smart Grid Technology has been a significant part of this process and the city announced recently that they have selected ‘Tantalus’ to provide the technology for its Smart Grid.
Summerside completed the building of a wind farm in the last year that should provide at least half of the energy requirement of the city each year. Tantalus, who are a leading communications provider for Smart Grid technologies have teamed up with the city authorities to resolve the question of what to do when the wind is not blowing. Using cutting edge technology the system that Tantalus provides allows the city to measure, control and monitor devices in its distribution network. Uniquely the system incorporates furnaces that are charged during peak times of production, producing energy that can be stored and is released automatically when required. The system also allows the city to sell energy to other utilities, during periods of ‘over-production’. This in turn generates income that mitigates the costs of the development of the infrastructure required.
The Tantalus Homerun Network not only provides the energy infrastructure with the capability to switch to stored energy during peak times, but also allows end users to take advantage of cheaper energy at off-peak times. Homes can be heated during the night using the system, and other appliances connected to a Smart Meters can also take advantage of the cost savings of using energy at ‘cheap’ times. In addition, the Tantalus Homerun Network utilises a fibre optic network that can be used for the provision of internet, television and telephone services. The speed available on this network means that Summerside is now one of the top cities in North America for connectivity. The interest from high technology business is already demonstrating the further economic benefits that the Tantalus system will bring.
Prince Edward Island, like many more remote locations, has relied on (expensive) energy purchased from mainland sources. The technology that Tantalus is providing will reduce the Summerside’s reliance on the mainland. The benefits of clean energy generation, combined together with the Tantalus systems allow the city of Summerside to generate its own cheaper energy, distribute and store energy in an efficient manner, while also providing the additional economic benefits of first class fibre optic network. The cities Chief Administrative Officer, Terry Murphy believes that the future for Summerside is ‘clean, green and economically robust’.
Tantalus are a leading provider of software for connection to Smart Grid Infrastructure, providing capability to not only distribute energy from renewable resources, but to manage this distribution effectively and efficiently.