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New solar-powered neighbourhood launched in Moncton

2020-12-02


Moncton, N.B. – A new neighbourhood under construction in Northeast Moncton - called North Branch – will become New Brunswick’s first solar powered neighbourhood. Today, NB Power, along with partners Solaire Homes and Siemens Canada, has launched this new project that will see up to 100 highly energy efficient and “zero energy-ready” homes built.

These homes will have the latest smart energy technologies, such as home energy management systems, rooftop solar panels and smart energy storage batteries.

This new development will be an economic driver for the region and province with a provincial information technology workforce building the technological platforms for global markets and local trades and craftspeople building the homes and installing the technologies.

The fully tech-outfitted homes are expected to range in price from $270,000 for a semi-detached to $400,000 for a single-family home with energy savings more than expected to cover any extra costs in construction materials and for the technologies. The neighbourhood is expected to eventually include up to 100 homes leading to an increased municipal and provincial tax base and serve as a renewable energy-powered showcase for the City of Moncton.

The goal of North Branch is to create a self-sufficient neighbourhood where NB Power and Siemens can learn from homeowners looking to take advantage of new smart energy technologies. Each home will be built to the highest energy efficiency standards and consume energy being generated by their own solar panels and stored in their own home battery. Each of the homes will function as its own unique nanogrid to optimize the home’s energy use - while also being connected to the neighbourhood microgrid. Home-generated solar energy will be traded and exchanged in a variety of scenarios including between homes, up to the microgrid and out to the main grid. Essentially each homeowner will be their own micro-electric utility trading with their neighbour.

Siemens Global Smart Grid Research and Development Centre in Fredericton will build the in-home nanogrid and the neighbourhood microgrid platforms which will serve as the energy management systems for the homes and the neighbourhood overall. The department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development provided funding for the leading-edge technology components of the project in January 2019

This neighbourhood energy exchange will allow NB Power to work with customers to better understand their evolving energy needs as it relates to future energy management options. It’s a future where there is wide-scale adoption of these smart energy technologies, and homes and businesses become independent entities - or nanogrids - and turn to the grid only for back-up and support. That kind of scenario has significant technical and financial implications for utilities and their customers, and this new smart energy neighbourhood will help NB Power learn about and prepare for that potential future.

The North Branch Smart Energy Neighbourhood Project in Moncton is part of a four-year federally funded research and demonstration program called Smart Grid Atlantic that includes NB Power, Siemens and NS Power. Smart Grid Atlantic is aimed at determining how smart energy technologies can provide customer, community, and provincial benefits, while reducing our energy use and our carbon footprint. The first Smart Energy Community Project has been underway for about a year in Shediac with nearly 500 homes participating, and the new North Branch Smart Energy Neighbourhood will be the first new neighbourhood in New Brunswick to support this kind of research. A third sister project to the work underway in Shediac and North Branch is expected to be announced in 2021.

 

QUOTES

Keith Cronkhite, NB Power President and CEO

 “Working together with our partners in North Branch, NB Power wants to ensure our energy use in New Brunswick in the future is smarter, greener, and more e­fficient. To put our customers first and build tomorrow’s power grid for them, we need to explore new technologies right here at home in ways that ensure our customers benefit in the greatest possible way. We’re looking for solutions that help the utility lower its costs while adding green-energy options for our customers. We’re extremely pleased that the North Branch neighbourhood will help us envision a new energy future for New Brunswickers.”

Paul Arsenault, President of North Branch

“We hear from people all the time that they want to live greener and make smarter choices about their energy consumption. These affordable homes will allow residents to do just that.”

Faisal Kazi, President and CEO of Siemens Canada

“This project will help utilities better understand how customers want to engage with new technologies and will demonstrate how to design new business models, create value, and analyze how incentive structures can influence behaviour. By bringing together all the right stakeholders including the homeowner, North Branch can help provide a critical roadmap for an efficient and cost-effective energy transition, leading to a more resilient and sustainable future.”

Mike Holland, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development, Government of New Brunswick

“Our Government is pleased to see the collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop this project that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to vibrant and sustainable communities. We are excited to see more solar energy being developed; particularly in a way that contributes to the development of cost-effective smart grid technologies right here in New Brunswick. We are proud of NB Power and the work they continue to do with Siemens Canada and companies like Solaire Homes to ensure New Brunswickers continue to benefit from a reliable, affordable and modern electricity system.”

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Government of Canada

“Our Government continues to support projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cement Canada’s place as a world leader in clean technology. That’s why our Government invested in Siemens to bring cheaper energy and a more reliable power grid to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Congratulations to NB Power and its partners, Solaire Homes and Siemens Canada on reaching a milestone in this innovative project.” 

 

About NB Power

NB Power is the primary electric utility in New Brunswick and this year marks its 100th anniversary. It serves more than 400,000 customers with safe, reliable and efficient electricity, and has the lowest residential rates in Atlantic Canada. The utility, which has 14 generating stations ranging from thermal generation, to hydro to nuclear, wind and other renewables, is focused on promoting the efficient use of energy in customers’ homes and businesses by enabling and providing new, value-added energy efficient solutions in order to help reduce carbon, better integrate renewable energy and stimulate the economy. During this past year, New Brunswick customers benefited from 80 per cent non-emitting electricity.

 

About Siemens

Since 1912 Siemens Canada has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, and reliability. The company is active across the country, focusing on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping shape Canada’s passenger rail services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power with operations in Canada. As of September 30, 2020, the company has approximately 2,500 employees from coast-to-coast and 24 office and production facilities across Canada. Further information is available at www.siemens.ca

 

About Solaire Homes

Solaire Homes based in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, is a contemporary home designer and builder, with an exclusive focus on zero energy homes and Smart Technology practices. They believe that you can have it all in your new home — modern amenities, dramatic style, today’s design and energy efficiency at affordable prices.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

 

NB Power - Sheila Lagacé, Communications, 506.458.2345 or SLagace@nbpower.com

Siemens Canada - Laura Heidbuechel, Press Officer, 289.952.1600 or or Laura.Heidbuechel@siemens.com

Solaire Homes - Tracey Stephenson, Communications, 506.866.8516 or tracey@lynwoodstrategies.ca