New Microgrid Community in Pickering Demonstrates Future of Residential Neighbourhoods
November 12, 2021
A new microgrid community in west Pickering is giving new homeowners more choice and control over their electricity production and consumption. The coordinated use of solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, and energy storage will let homeowners save money and reduce emissions while demonstrating how microgrids can defer investments in traditional electricity infrastructure.
The Independent System Electricity Operator (IESO), Opus One Solutions, Elexicon Energy and Marshall Homes have partnered to create the Altona Towns community of 27 homes that comprise a fully integrated microgrid. With about 35,000 new residential homes built in Ontario each year, the project will demonstrate how microgrids can benefit homeowners while reducing the amount of electricity needed from the grid, helping make the provincial electricity system more affordable for all Ontarians.
Many communities across Ontario are increasingly looking at emerging technologies in the electricity sector to achieve economic and environmental goals. Funded in part by the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund this project will demonstrate how communities, local hydro companies and developers can work together to create cleaner and more energy-efficient housing developments.
For residents living in the microgrid community, the use of solar panels and battery storage will allow them to reduce energy costs by supplying their own power needs. It also can provide another option to improve the resiliency of the local electricity grid when faced with extreme weather, providing backup power if there is an outage.
Insights and lessons learned from this pilot will help inform future system planning.
Images and b-roll footage are available upon request.
Altona Towns houses come equipped with the following:
- A 250 kW/500 kWh battery
- 25 kW of rooftop solar generation
- An electric vehicle charger
- Real-time visibility into home end-uses for customers via an app
“Local microgrid communities like this one are just the type of innovation we need in Ontario to help us meet our future energy needs. Working in partnership with the IESO, I commend Opus One, Elexicon Energy and Marshall Homes for exploring opportunities to use green technologies like rooftop solar, battery storage, smart panels and EV chargers, for the benefit of local communities.”
- Todd Smith, Minister of Energy
“The City of Pickering has been recognized nationally for its innovative and leading work in sustainability. I commend Marshall Homes, Opus One Solutions, Elexicon Energy, and the IESO for joining us on our sustainability journey, and I congratulate the partners for creating this historic microgrid community. Most importantly, this landmark initiative will inspire other home builders and developers to implement more sustainable and clean energy options here in Pickering and across the region.”
- Dave Ryan, Mayor, City of Pickering
“Today’s announcement is great news for new homeowners in west Pickering, giving them more choice and control over their electricity production and consumption. This microgrid community project is the first of its kind in our province that will save new homeowners money, reduce emissions and help operators manage the provincial grid more cost-effectively.”
- Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge.
“Pickering is growing and that means growing electricity needs. This microgrid community represents the future of residential development, showing how communities can be built in a way that reduces costs for homeowners, improves grid resiliency, and helps us as the system operator manage the provincial grid more cost-effectively.”
- Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the IESO
“Opus One Solutions is proud to partner with Elexicon, Marshall Homes and the IESO on accelerating the energy transition with smart, local community energy. Through the usage of Opus Ones' GridOS® grid management software, the Altona Town Homes microgrid will deliver grid resiliency and affordable clean energy to its residents for the long term. We look forward to building similar partnership networks across Canada for a low carbon future.”
- Joshua Wong, CEO Opus One Solutions
“Elexicon Energy is proud to be a part of this historic microgrid project and to partner with likeminded thought-leaders in the energy sector. Altona Towns in Pickering is just the beginning of what can be offered to customers in the future, including lower electricity bills, as we explore more innovative technologies to provide efficient, reliable and renewable energy solutions across all of our many service territories in East Central Ontario.”
- Indy Butany-DeSouza, President and CEO of Elexicon Energy
“At Marshall Homes we have been a leader in implementing green initiatives and believe that it is important for builders and developers to participate in these sorts of things so that the developing technology can be used in practice. This is where the rubber hits the road and my hope is that these advances can and will lead to sustainable communities in the near future, reducing the carbon footprint for all our customers.”
- Craig Marshall, President at Marshall Homes
About Opus One Solutions
Opus One Solutions is a software and solutions company with the vision of a digitalized, decentralized and decarbonized planet. Its intelligent distributed energy management platform, GridOS®, optimizes complex power flows to deliver operational time-frame energy management, integrated planning, and market enablement to distribution utilities and other managers of distributed energy resources. GridOS is modular, scalable, and integrates seamlessly with existing data systems to unlock greater potential for distributed energy resources, including renewable generation, energy storage, and responsive demand.
Visit our page to learn more and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About the Independent Electricity System Operator
The IESO operates Ontario’s power grid 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ensuring Ontarians receive a reliable and cost-effective source of power when and where they need it. It works with sector partners and engages with communities across Ontario to plan and prepare for the province’s electricity needs now and into the future. The IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund advances innovative opportunities to achieve electricity bill savings for Ontario ratepayers by funding projects that either enable customers to better manage their energy consumption or that reduce the costs associated with maintaining reliable operation of the province’s grid.
Visit www.ieso.ca, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more.
About Elexicon Energy
Elexicon Energy powers life’s most meaningful moments. As the fourth largest municipally owned electricity distributor in Ontario, our vision is to empower the communities we serve and help customers seize opportunities to ignite a better future. We provide over 171,000 residential and business customers with reliable and affordable energy services. Elexicon Energy is owned by five municipalities: the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Town of Whitby, the City of Belleville and the Municipality of Clarington. Learn more at elexiconenergy.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Marshall Homes
A leader in innovation, quality and customer care since 1993. Bringing game changing initiatives to the mainstream like its Flexhouz™ series for multi-generational families, Canada’s most advanced microgrid community, solar and geothermal heating and cooling, in addition to ENERGY STAR and Energuide 83. Marshall Homes continues to focus on creating quality over quantity with its boutique enclaves and custom homes throughout Durham and cottage country.
Learn more at marshallhomes.ca and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Opus One Solutions Media Contact
Melissa Serrano, Senior Manager Marketing and Communications
IESO Media Contact
Elexicon Energy Media Contacts
Edyta McKay, Manager Public Affairs, Communications and Marketing
Kimberly Brathwaite, Brand and PR Advisor
Marshall Homes Media Contact
Craig Marshall, President