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CEA’s electric utility report highlights need for innovation

February 24, 2015 | By Renée Francoeur

February 24, 2015 – The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) released a new report today called Electric Utility Innovation: Toward Vision 2050. It reveals that much of Canada’s electricity infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life and discusses the impact of the changing role of electric utilities on decisions about renewal.

“Canadian utilities are nearing a once-in-a-generation peak for electricity infrastructure investment, which provides both the opportunity and necessity to develop, test, and deploy leading-edge grid modernization technologies,” said Sergio Marchi, CEA’s president and CEO. “Strategic, collaborative innovation today will ensure a reliable, cost efficient, safe and sustainable system for the future.”

The report calls for a “systematic approach to innovation to ensure utilities have the mandate and means to invest in innovation going forward,” such as developing technology in the areas of demand response, the facilitation of distributed generation, the facilitation of electric vehicles, the optimization of asset use, and fault detection and mitigation.

 Seven recommendations are also made in the report to further innovation:

1.    Align priorities and goals;
2.    Track grid modernization indicators at a national level;
3.    Look internationally;
4.    Pool innovation funding to mitigate risk and share rewards;
5.    Share lessons learned;
6.    Lock in knowledge by developing codes and standards;
7.    Keep customers informed and engaged.

Download the full report below.

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