Â“This partnership is resulting in one-of-a-kind research that will help to further develop wind energy solutions for utilities around the world,Â” said GaÃ«tan Thomas, president and chief executive officer of NB Power. Â“It has already helped us better understand how to incorporate renewable energy onto our grid more effectively, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and furthering our goal of keeping our rates low and stable for customers.Â”
The project is allowing heating and cooling systems at the Wu Conference Centre on the university's Fredericton campus to be powered by wind energy. This pilot project is part of an international award-winning effort led by NB Power called Powershift Atlantic.
The project is also developing wind-forecasting research created by Prof. Liuchen Chang at UNB. This forecasting will identify the best opportunities to use wind energy in homes and businesses.
Nearly 1,200 customers from around the Maritimes are already using intelligent technology that helps NB Power incorporate wind onto the grid, maximizing the potential of a renewable resource known for being intermittent.
Â“We are extremely proud of the research Prof. Chang is contributing to this game-changing project and the innovative energy solutions NB Power is helping to create as a result,Â” said Eddy Campbell, president of UNB. Â“Projects like this help New Brunswick get recognized on an international stage, and opens the doors for future innovations to be created in our province.Â”
PowerShift Atlantic was launched in 2010 as part of the federal governmentÂ’s Clean Energy Fund. It is a collaborative research project led in partnership by NB Power, Natural Resources Canada, Saint John Energy, Maritime Electric, Nova Scotia Power, the New Brunswick System Operator, UNB, the provincial government and the Government of Prince Edward Island.
The research portion of the program is expected to wrap up in the fall after a full year of testing the technology. NB Power will use this data to determine if a business case is possible to introduce new products and services that utilize wind power.