The TechnoCentre éolien (TCE), a designated college centre for technology transfer affiliated with the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, received a significant financial package in support of its research program on the intelligent integration of renewable energy and storage technologies in microgrids.
This program, which will last five years (2016-2021), will benefit from financial support in the amount of $4.6MCdn from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Government of Quebec.
Participating businesses will also be helping to finance this program in the context of various research projects. Besides TCE and the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, this program will also involve two other research centers and some 15 businesses throughout Quebec, plus Ontario and the Yukon.
One of the biggest energy-related challenges faced by jurisdictions consists of boosting penetration of renewable energies, such as wind and solar, and lowering fossil fuel consumption while maintaining the reliability of electrical grids.
“The primary objective of this program is to assist businesses in developing new solutions to reduce energy costs and curb greenhouse gases,” said Frédéric Côté, General Manager of the TCE.
A microgrid is a network of energy production and consumption infrastructure that may or may not be interconnected to public electricity grids. Microgrids vary greatly in size and form: they may be remote communities, mines in the Canadian Arctic, or buildings such as hospitals.
“This project is consistent with the priorities set out in Quebec’s energy policy, as well as Canada’s orientations with regard to energy consumption. It will also allow our companies to stand out on an international level,” said Côté.
This comprehensive program will have direct economic benefits for the industry, as well as college and university-level education. Indeed, a team of top researchers will be made available to participating enterprises, notably to facilitate the training and development of specialized engineers and technicians.
By supporting the development and validation of new technologies in real-world conditions, the project will contribute to increasing the penetration of renewable energies.
“We are pleased that this major program is beginning to materialize. By allowing students at the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles to complete on-the-job internships and offering instructors the opportunity to participate in carrying out projects, the program will reinforce the College’s dynamism in research and innovation. Without a doubt, the program will have positive spinoffs for the College,” notes Mr. Yves Galipeau, Director-General of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles.
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