Canadian Solar has awarded Trimark a contract to design and implement a SCADA communications network for a microgrid under development in Fort Severn First Nation, Ontario.
Fort Severn is a Cree First Nation government on Hudson Bay, the northern most community in Ontario, Canada.
The microgrid will provide a diversified power generation portfolio to include a new, ground mounted 257-kW photovoltaic array and 410 kWh of battery storage in addition to 80 kW of previously-installed rooftop solar and a 10-kW wind turbine. Operation of the new, renewable resources requires careful coordination with an existing 2-MW, three-tier diesel generator. The project is being developed by Canadian Solar.
There are several ways Fort Severn will benefit from deploying a microgrid. First, the system will diversify the community’s electric power resources thereby improving reliability of the local electrical grid and adding generation capacity. Second, the system will reduce reliance on costly diesel. The cost of diesel in First Nation communities is more than $ 2 per liter. Some sources estimate the cost of electricity in isolated communities like Fort Severn to be 20 times the cost of power in southern Ontario.
Trimark’s role in the project includes design, equipment, fabrication, testing, and commissioning of the microgrid communication network. This system includes a secure radio network to gather real-time operational information from existing and new generation sources. The system will also capture operational history to support daily operations, future development and planning for other microgrid installations serving other First Nation communities.
Throughout the project, Trimark will work in close cooperation with Canadian Solar and Princeton Power to develop and test the communications network. Extensive testing will occur in the Canadian Solar Microgrid Testing Centre in Guelph, Ontario before the systems are delivered to the site.
News item from Trimark