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Sault's $34M Smart Grid wins provincial accolades

Local utility provider earns Innovation Excellence Award from Electricity Distributors Association

The newly unveiled Sault Smart Grid is now an award-winning project.

The country's first community-wide smart grid project was recognized during this year’s Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) awards ceremony in Toronto, where PUC Services Inc. was presented with the prestigious Innovation Excellence Award.

The awards recognize outstanding achievements and innovations within the energy and utility sector, highlighting organizations that demonstrate exceptional performance, leadership and commitment to advancing industry standards.

In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Sault to officially cut the ribbon on the $34-million smart grid, which promises to provide annual costs savings for residential customers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the reliability of the city's electrical system. 

"We are thrilled and honoured to receive the Innovation Award from the Electricity Distributors Association," said Robert Brewer, PUC's president and CEO, in a March 26 news release. "This recognition is a testament to all of our employees' hard work and relentless pursuit of innovation and dedication to delivering exceptional services to our customers while driving positive change in the industry."

Smart grids are electricity systems that use modern technology to balance the supply and demand of local energy needs.

Since coming online last fall, PUC said, the Sault's smart grid has achieved energy savings of 2.7 per cent, increased customer communications regarding power outages, and increased reliability for customers.

PUC estimates the project is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of 2,804 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

— SooToday