Ontario’s $50 Million Smart Grid Fund 2013

By Gordon Feller

Gordon Feller is the Co-Founder of Meeting of the Minds, a global thought leadership network and knowledge-sharing platform focused on the future of sustainable cities, innovation and technology.

Jul 16, 2013 | Announcements | 0 comments

The Government of Ontario launched the second round of a $50 million Smart Grid Fund (SGF). The SGF will support high-value opportunities to advance energy innovation in Ontario. The Ministry of Energy will award the funding in the form of a conditional grant.

The SGF is divided into two project categories: Capacity Building and Demonstration.

Capacity Building

Within the Capacity Building category the eligibility requirements for Capacity Building SGF projects entail the following features:

  • A maximum project timeframe of 2 years.
  • A minimum project total of $500,000

SGF will fund up to 50% of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $4 million per project. Projects seeking less that 50% are preferred.

Organizations applying must have at least two years of active operations and have other products or services at the commercial stage. This requirement does not apply to subsidiaries of established organizations.

Demonstration

Within the Demonstration category the minimum project total is $250,000.  The eligibility requirements for Demonstration SGF projects are:

  • A maximum project timeframe of 2 years
  • A minimum project total of $250,000

SGF will fund up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $4 million per project.

Collaboration with an electricity utility is required for all demonstration projects.

In both instances the SGF will fund up to 50% of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $4 million per project. Since its inception in 2011, the SGF has supported nine successful projects with twelve electrical utilities.

Non-Canadian companies have the opportunity to partner with Canadian companies and supply:

  • Technologies related to Smart Grid development
  • electrical equipment, products, components and materials
  • electrical engineering assistance

SGF supports high-value opportunities to advance energy innovation in Ontario. The SGF is a discretionary, non-entitlement program administered by the Ministry of Energy of Ontario. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis in the form of a conditional grant. The SGF is divided into two project categories: Capacity Building and Demonstration. Lead Applicants must select one project category for their project. Projects submitted for both categories will not be accepted.

Since the launch in 2011, the SGF has supported nine projects from various smart grid technology areas, involving partnerships with 12 electricity utilities. The nine successful projects have been focused on two-way flow between the consumer and their utility, grid automation, connecting clean and efficient resources to the grid, and the use of data generated by smart meters and electricity grid assets.

The Smart Grid Fund supports Ontario-based projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of smart grid solutions. This round of funding will support advanced energy technology projects, such as energy storage and electric vehicle integration. Supported by investments such as Ontario's 4.7 million smart meters, the smart grid connects the electricity system with new technologies and sources of information to help reduce service disruptions, increase conservation capacity, waste less energy and increase grid security. Smart grid technologies also provide consumers with conservation tools that allow for more efficient electricity use and help manage costs. Within SGF there is a strong focus on advancing Ontario’s Smart Grid communication system. Projects solely focused on the development of Distributed Energy resources and failing to incorporate advanced communication technology will be deemed ineligible for funding.

Successful "Lead Applicants" must present a firm agreement between the "Lead Applicant" and the utility (Memorandum of Understanding, statement of work, or firm letter of support).

The SGF is accessible to applicants that are Ontario registered companies. U.S. companies may partner with an Ontario company that will act as a Lead Applicant. U.S. companies may use this opportunity for supplying technologies, products, and services. Applications are open until 400pm Toronto time on September 6th.

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