Fed’s Investment in Sault Ste. Marie Smart Grid to Create Economic Opportunities

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From left: Glen Martin CEO Infrastructure Energy; Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano; Rob Brewer, President/CEO PUC Distributing; and at the podium Sault Member of Parliament Terry Sheehan.

Feb. 11, 2019 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON –Canada is investing to make our infrastructure smarter. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the electricity network through the use of new and smart grid technology creates jobs and helps build the green economy.

Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an $11.8-million investment for PUC Distribution Inc.’s smart grid project in Sault Ste. Marie. This project will create 140 good, middle-class jobs and lower the cost of generating and distributing power to customers.

PUC Distribution Inc., the local power distribution utility, has formed a private-public financing partnership that will use federal funding to improve the Sault Ste. Marie electric network system.

From left Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano; Sault MP Terry Sheehan and Glen Martin, CEO/President of Infrastructure Energy.

Smarter electric networks mean lower electricity costs for Canadian homes and businesses. Customers will benefit from better reliability, efficiency and resiliency of their local electric network, at no increased cost. Further, this project will help utilities broaden their service offerings to clients, reduce outages and provide more information to enable customers to make smarter electricity use choices.

Improvements in network quality will also produce new economic opportunities for the city, as it could attract the interest of a range of industries associated with Canada’s clean energy sector. This includes manufacturing, e-commerce, telecommunications services and data centres.

“This is an innovative project that makes Sault Ste. Marie a leader. We will be the first city in our country to implement a community-wide smart grid, and I thank the Government of Canada for its support. Once it is complete, the smart grid will make our energy infrastructure more reliable, reduce energy loss and lead to a more innovative economy for our community.” said, Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie

This project supports the greater use of clean power by improving the community’s electric network in order to accommodate new energy sources, including rooftop solar. This will allow more Canadians to produce their own clean power and reduce pollution.

Funding for the project comes from the Smart Grid Program, which is part of the Government of Canada’s more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

“I would like to thank our partners in the federal government for this sizable investment. As a community-focused utility, we are always looking for innovative ways to help our customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The investment this government has made in our community will not only help modernize our city’s electrical distribution system — once the project is complete, Sault Ste. Marie will have access to an electricity grid that can handle the growing demands of a city in the 21st century.” said, Rob Brewer, President and CEO, PUC Distribution

This project reflects what we heard through Generation Energy, the largest conversation about energy in our history. Canadians were clear about the need for a thriving, low-carbon economy. The Generation Energy Council outlined four key pillars to Canada’s energy future, one of which was switching to clean power.