Hydro-Québec smart grids to reduce diesel in 13 Indigenous communities

The federal government announced August 15 that Hydro-Québec will receive $11 million for a smart grid project to reduce the combined use of diesel in 13 remote Indigenous communities.

          By incorporating new battery storage technologies, more renewable sources of energy and better control systems, the funding will help Hydro-Québec improve performance of the existing diesel micro-grids that power and heat each of these communities. A reduction of 800,000 litres of diesel a year is expected, as well as a reduction of the communities' greenhouse gas emissions by 7,500 tonnes by 2030.

          The project is seen as a potential model to follow for other communities to lessen their dependence on diesel. Improving the reliability, flexibility and resilience of its networks by incorporating storage, Hydro-Québec also plans to deploy micro-grid control systems and batteries in most of its light diesel–fired plants. The project is supported by research that has been underway for more than 10 years at Hydro-Québec and will continue as part of this project.

          Funding for the project comes from Natural Resources Canada's Smart Grid program.

          Natural Resources also announced $230,000 in funding August 30 to help 43 First Nations in Quebec and Labrador learn about the importance and advantages of renewable energy through in-person training. First Nations communities will also receive ongoing project development guidance and technical support for renewable energy projects. Funding for the project comes from the government’s six-year, $220-million Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program.

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