Electrical Business

Features Energy & Power Energy Storage
Oshawa PUC kicks off residential solar, energy storage & management project


August 6, 2014 – Ontario’s Oshawa PUC (Power and Utilities Corp.) and Panasonic Eco Solutions—together with technology partners, such as Tabuchi Electric Co. of Japan—kicked off a solar PV and energy management pilot project involving the engineering and commissioning of about 30 residential rooftop solar PV systems that will be combined with energy storage and an energy management system.

“The cost-effective, reliable, disruptive technologies that are already here—and those that are around the corner—will finally provide customers the options which they did not have in a traditional utility model,” said Atul Mahajan, CEO of Oshawa PUC.

The energy management system will provide homeowners the ability to better manage both their energy generation and consumption, say the partners, while the energy storage and management system will provide up to 10kWh of standby energy.

At the heart of the system is Tabuchi’s EIBS hybrid PV inverter with embedded multi-string MPPT charger that controls both the solar array and the energy storage battery. The energy storage system includes Panasonic’s lithium-ion batteries. The project is supported by the City of Oshawa, while funding is being facilitated by Tabuchi.

“Think of solar plus storage as the wireless smartphone equivalent in the evolution of the electrical industry,” continued Mahajan. “Will these technologies and their proponents and supporters go through teething troubles? Yes. But, eventually, they will become as ubiquitous as the smartphone.”

The complete commissioning of the residential energy management systems is due to be completed in the spring of 2015, after which a broader rollout in the City of Oshawa and the Province of Ontario will be initiated.