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S&C Electric to build microgrid in North Bay

Microgrid will operate separately from power grid and help power arena, aquatic centre
Memorial Gardens in North Bay (File)

S&C Electric Canada Ltd. is working with North Bay Hydro to build a microgrid in North Bay that will provide renewable energy to community buildings.

Dubbed the ‘North Bay Community Energy Park,’ the project will include a solar array mounted on the city’s Aquatic Centre, and will have the ability to operate separately from the power grid. Energy generated will help power the nearby Memorial Gardens ice rink.

There will also be a charging station on site for electric vehicles, and a cogeneration plant will help power the microgrid, heating both the Aquatic Centre and Memorial Gardens.

“This project will combine renewable generation, energy storage and S&C’s GridMaster®Microgrid Control System to fully integrate all of the components,” said Paul McMullen, vice-president of S&C Electric Canada Ltd., in a news release.

“North Bay Hydro has been innovative enough to realize that they can gain benefits today while preparing the local grid, their utility, and indeed the community for the network of the future.”

North Bay Hydro CEO Todd Wilcox said the project will benefit the community educationally, economically and for employability.

“We will employ local tradespeople, run educational outreach programs in schools, and provide power independence for the community,” Wilcox said in the release.

“The project is modular; therefore, expansion will be easier as the site evolves as the needs of the community change.

Wilcox said Memorial Gardens and the Aquatic Centre will be used as a refuge point in times of crisis, such as during an ice storm, as it will be one of the few complexes within a 100-kilometre radius that will have power.