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Power Lines - A newsletter of the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program

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Don't forget to scroll to the bottom to explore upcoming training and events!

Intelligent Voltage Control of Distributed Generation Resources within Electricity Distribution networks

Solar panels with technicians doing work in the background

STEP has received funding from the LDC Tomorrow Fund in order to investigate and implement control techniques that achieve optimal voltage control within electrical distribution systems using renewable and distributed energy generation sources (DGs). The major limiting factor for power utilities when it comes to deploying DGs in the distribution network is that their conventional control equipment is not equipped for bi-directional power flow. This project seeks to bridge that gap by implementing control algorithms that work harmoniously with conventional power grid equipment over open, secure and reliable smart grid communication protocols. STEP is excited to partner with York University and National Instruments on this project. Click here to visit the project webpage.

Evaluation of Gas Powered Heat Pumps for Space Heating and Cooling in a Cold Climate

The June 2016 edition of Power Lines announced that STEP has received a grant from the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) to evaluate a series of four low-carbon technologies with the aim of providing the data and tools necessary to support their broader implementation. The work to date has focused on identifying the low-carbon technologies with the highest potential for impact on the market. Candidate technologies were compared against various criteria, including barriers to implementation, cost-effectiveness, carbon savings, market size and penetration potential. Through this process, gas-powered heat pumps for space heating and cooling have emerged as the topic for the first technology evaluation. Gas-powered heat pumps utilize renewable heat energy from the air or ground to yield an efficiency that may be as much as 50% greater than conventional high-efficiency gas heating technologies and may be a financially attractive approach to carbon savings. The project is set to kick-off soon with TAF, Enbridge, Union Gas and Ryerson University as current key project partners.
An Innovation Park Partner - Mohawk College - Receives $4.63-million in Federal Funding
Individuals involved in the announcement posing for a picture
On October 7, a FedDev funding announcement was made by Filomena Tassi, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, and Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. A commitment of $4.63-million in federal investment to Mohawk College was made to help realize a new state of the art test building at The Living City Campus’s BRE Innovation Park in Woodbridge, ON.  The main objective of this project is to implement a DC microgrid within a distribution system and evaluate its successes and barriers to this technology’s advancement across Ontario. With construction expected to start in Spring 2017, Mohawk’s DC microgrid will be the first project constructed at the Park. We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Mohawk College as they advance the DC microgrid concept and help us expand the Campus’s research and demonstration facilities. This project will assist the Innovation Park in its goal to advance the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in Ontario and beyond.

Innovation Park is being developed by TRCA and partners as a sustainable neighbourhood with eight 1,000 sq. ft. homes and a state-of-the-art LID treatment system that will be utilized by the development community, building material manufacturers, and post-secondary institutions to develop and test sustainable building technologies and processes.  The first phase of servicing, the sanitary and watermain connection at Pine Valley Drive, is nearing completion. Servicing is expected to be completed by Spring 2017. TACC Construction is handling all phases of the infrastructure construction. The first demonstration building - in partnership with Mohawk College - will begin construction next year. For more information, please visit our website by clicking here.
The Living City Campus's Newest Research Lab - Our Refurbished Solar Cottage to be Used as an Off Grid Learning Centre
The Solar Cottage with a sign and solar panel in the foreground
Over the past year, Power Lines has been tracking the progress of the Solar Cottage refurbishment project at the Living City Campus at Kortright. STEP is pleased to report the building exterior is completely finished with roofing, siding and windows. The last remaining components are the building’s HVAC system and remaining interior finishes such as cabinetry, both of which are moving along well with the aid of a graduate student intern from Ryerson University. Refurbishment from the ground up has given STEP another Living City Laboratory - the Off Grid Learning Centre - that can be used in partnership with industry and academia to answer questions related to advanced building design. The Lab will also be used to host training and events. More information on the project can be found here.

Special thanks to our project partners: City of Toronto, Region of Peel, York Region, Amvic Building Systems, Canadian National Shelter Program, Inline Fiberglass, Roxul, Huber Engineered Woods, VicwestCertainTeed, PermaTint Limited, Acrytec, Canadian Solar, Preformed Line Products and BASF Canada.
Training Updates
Energy Symbol

Energy Training

In-Class Training

  • Solar and Wind Energy Electric System Introduction, Vaughan (November 19)
  • Off Grid and Emergency Back Up Systems, Vaughan (November 20)
On-line Courses
Design Symbol

Building Design and Construction Training

In-Class Training

Water Symbol

Water Training

In-Class Training

  • Making it Work: Low Impact Development SWM Construction, Inspection, Maintenance, and Monitoring, Alliston (November 14)
  • Improving Agency Education and Capacity for Erosion and Sediment Control Review, Alliston (November 14)
  • Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control (CISEC) Courses (Ottawa, January 18-19; Burlington, January 25-26; Surrey, BC, February 28-March 1)
  • Designing Green Roofs for Low Impact Development: What Matters and Why? (November 24)
  • Lessons Learned in LID Construction (December 8)
On-line Courses
  • Introduction to Low Impact Development (online course)
  • Design of Infiltration Practices: Low Impact Development Technical Training (online course)
  • Introduction to Erosion and Sediment Control (online course)
  • L’introduction au contrôle de l’érosion et des sédiments (online course)
  • Polymers for Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control (online course)
Our training changes frequently, check out our website for more information. If you don't see what you're looking for, we can also work with you to tailor a custom training package.

For further information or to schedule training please contact:

Patricia Lewis
Copyright © 2016 Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), All rights reserved.

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