Developing a Lean, Clean and Green POWER.HOUSE

Enbridge Gas and partners launch residential hybrid energy pilot project in southern Ontario
Nov 18, 2021 12:50 PM ET
Article

What do you get when you equip a single household with multiple smart electrical and thermal systems to generate and store clean energy?

You get a POWER.HOUSE.

Recently, Enbridge Gas, the City of Markham and electric utility Alectra announced the POWER.HOUSE hybrid energy project in the southern Ontario city. With deployment in 10 Markham residential homes, the POWER.HOUSE project, funded by Natural Resources Canada, aims to explore the benefits of decentralized hybrid energy generation.

Homes are retrofitted with a set of controllable electrical and thermal technologies feeding into a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) platform. These technologies include:

  • Hybrid heating (natural gas and electric heating)
  • Solar panels
  • Battery storage
  • Micro combined heat and power (CHP) systems, and
  • Electric vehicle chargers.

This integrated equipment will enable customers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, have greater control over their energy costs, and enjoy increased comfort levels through automated controls.

“The POWER.HOUSE hybrid project is a fantastic example of utilities and municipalities partnering to advance leading-edge hybrid heating technologies that reduce GHG emissions while delivering a reliable supply of clean power to local homes,” says Malini Giridhar, Vice President of Business Development and Regulatory at Enbridge Gas.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Alectra and the City of Markham to develop this made-in-Canada solution and it is our hope that the success of this pilot can lead to wider scale deployment and lower costs as more municipalities participate. Together, we’re leading the way to a clean energy future.”

The POWER.HOUSE hybrid pilot project will explore the concept of grid flexibility, with homeowners able to shift power supply to behind-the-meter sources (that is, generated onsite) during peak hours by using solar energy to power electric vehicles and other household items.

The VPP model will allow households withstand the impacts of extreme weather events that cause power grid outages. Excess clean energy generated by these homes will feed into the grid.

“The transportation and residential sectors combined consume 67% of energy across the city,” notes Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “The POWER.HOUSE hybrid pilot is an example of how a local program can target energy reductions while supporting our Municipal Energy Plan—Getting to Zero, reaching net zero emissions by 2050.”

Enbridge Gas provided direct project funding, offered in-kind expertise for thermal energy integration and system monitoring, and led the enablement cloud-based, remote dispatch for the homes’ dual-fuel heating systems.