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Halton Hills Hydro combines renewable energy and smart grid technology


November 16, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

(UPDATED November 16, 2012) November 15, 2012 – Combining renewable energy and smart grid technology, Ontario’s Halton Hills Hydro launched an energy project in which individual solar panels will be mounted on about 200 hydro poles in Georgetown, Acton and surrounding communities.

The panels can be installed quickly and simply on existing poles, says the utility, and begin generating power immediately. A benefit of the project is the distribution system monitoring provided by these panels; it provides real-time information about the panels and distribution system so the utility can adjust and improve overall efficiency. Distribution line losses are reduced as the panels generate power close to where it’s needed. Each panel generates about 1kWh/day.

“The flexibility of the technology means that we can expand incrementally,” said utility president Art Skidmore. “We are excited about this creative energy solution that combines renewable energy and smart grid benefits. There are literally hundreds of thousands of these poles across Ontario.”

The panels are supplied by Harvester Energy, a subsidiary of Halton Hills Community Energy Corp. and a Canadian distributor of the technology. Halton Hills Hydro is the mid-sized local distribution company serving more than 20,000 urban and rural customers in the Town of Halton Hills.

#1 – (from left): Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette and Halton Hills Hydro president and CEO Art Skidmore join powerline technicians Hessel Faber and Matt Stephens before technicians mount a solar-smart grid panel on Trafalgar Road in Ballinafad. Photo courtesy Halton Hills Hydro.

#2 – Halton Hills Hydro powerline technician Hessel Faber connects one of the utility’s new solar-smart grid panels at a launch event for the project. Photo courtesy Halton Hills Hydro.

#3 – Halton Hills Hydro powerline technicians Matt Stephens, on the ground, and Hessel Faber, above, install a new solar-smart grid panel on Trafalgar Road in Ballinafad. Photo courtesy Halton Hills Hydro.