Fluence to partner with PUC for peak-load shaving in Ontario

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Canadian company PUC Distribution has announced it is partnering with storage solution provider Fluence to bring energy management solutions to customers in the city of Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario.

It is expected the partnership will prompt a reduction in power bills for PUC customers and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to meet Canada’s strict new federal carbon reduction mandates.

To that end, Fluence will supply energy storage technology and EPC services for multiple projects, primarily for business customers, the company said. The installations will reduce the need for peak-load generation.

“This is a great step forward for our city. It will make doing business in Sault Ste. Marie less costly than anywhere else in the province of Ontario,” said the city’s Mayor, Christian Provenzano. “An announcement like this so shortly after the Smart Grid project announcement sends a pretty clear message that not only is Sault Ste. Marie open for business – but it is a community that isn’t afraid to embrace innovative industries or projects,” added the mayor, referring to the launch of a national Smart Grid to modernize the power distribution network in Canada.

Reducing peak-load energy consumption is high on the agenda for businesses worldwide, and a plethora of storage providers have moved into the marketplace. Businesses with intermittent high energy consumption pay particularly high tariffs, as utilities seek compensation for the provision of extraordinarily high energy supply. For a power company to be able to provide such services, the generation and transmission infrastructure has to be built in a way that allows for such heavy demands. The infrastructure adaptations are carried out for only a few business customers, who have to foot the bill.

Enabling businesses to supplement regular demand with storage systems which are either charged from renewable energy, or from the grid at night when demand is low, can help reduce peak load costs significantly.

“Combining a strong local presence in Canada through Siemens, and global expertise helping businesses manage energy costs with storage, our team stands ready to put what we’ve learned to work in Canada,” said Dan Wishnick, Managing Director at Fluence. “We’re excited to work with a forward-thinking municipality like Sault Ste. Marie on this innovative program and offer innovative energy storage options that drive down costs for businesses in the region.”

In 2017, Canada unveiled an emissions reduction plan whereby the country aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. The nation has introduced carbon pricing regimes and other tools to incentivize businesses and municipalities to contribute to the plan.