ENMAX and Cadillac Fairview (CF) are pleased to announce their partnership to test the connection of a solar installation at CF Chinook Centre, the largest shopping complex in Calgary, onto ENMAX Power’s specialized secondary network to enable two-way flow of renewable forms of energy.
ENMAX Power’s secondary network is a specialized segment of its electricity distribution system that supplies power to CF Chinook Centre and other shopping complexes, as well as the majority of Calgary’s downtown area.
While ENMAX Power is already enabling two-way power flow on its standard distribution system, meaning customers can send excess generation from local energy sources back to the grid, two-way flow is not currently possible on the specialized secondary network due to its design for high reliability. This limitation also exists within similar urban networks across North America, and ENMAX Power is the first utility in Canada to propose a solution to this complex technical challenge.
Initiated in 2018, ENMAX Power’s multi-year project to address this challenge is funded in part by Natural Resources Canada and Alberta Innovates. Through the project to date, ENMAX Power has designed and lab-tested modifications to its secondary network to allow two-way power flow, and the installation at CF Chinook Centre will be the first on-site customer implementation to test the modifications to the network’s highly specialized hardware, software and communications systems that can facilitate two-way power flow while maintaining system safety and reliability.
“Renewable energy, like solar, is a huge economic opportunity in Alberta and across the country. Canadians have the ingenuity, determination, and work ethic to seize this opportunity and build a low-emissions energy future that gets us to net zero,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.
“Alberta businesses are driving collaboration and developing new technologies to solve today’s business challenges. Alberta is home to some of the best and brightest – and this initiative between ENMAX and Cadillac Fairview is proof of that. As our economy grows, Albertans will continue to be at the forefront of driving innovation and diversification,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
“ENMAX Power is excited to partner with our valued customer, Cadillac Fairview, to explore this solution and give customers on our secondary network more energy choice in the future,” said Jana Mosley, Senior Vice President, ENMAX Power. “By working with CF, we are unlocking the opportunity for more of our customers, and potentially the customers of other utilities across North America, to have more options in how they generate and use electricity while maintaining safe, reliable supply overall.”
The solar equipment will be installed at CF Chinook Centre this summer. Once it’s connected to the network, ENMAX Power will gather data to determine if further modifications are required before the technology is introduced to other customers.
“Cadillac Fairview is proud to partner with ENMAX to test this first-of-its kind technology in Canada at CF Chinook Centre,” said Arv Gupta, Senior Vice President of Operations Services, Cadillac Fairview. “The immense collaboration that took place between CF and ENMAX over the last two years has made this project possible. As a leader in energy management and sustainability, this project further emboldens CF’s dedication to corporate responsibility and further demonstrates our commitment to a low-carbon future in Canada.”