How Conservation Voltage Regulation Can Help Ontario’s Aging Power Grid

The heatwave affecting Ontario has made one thing clear – Ontario’s power grid is aging. Since the heatwave began air conditioners all over the city have been running on high and putting stress on the +100 year-old electrical grid.

As CBC’s The National noted in their July 6th story, Canada’s Aging Power Grid, Torontonians felt the affects of the aging grid on July 5th when there was widespread blackout throughout the city. The old grid isn’t able to handle the demand for things like air conditioners running full blast throughout the city, so it becomes overloaded and crashes.

According to a CBC News July 2010 report, cold winters and hot summers are to blame for Canada’s position as world’s third highest per capita energy user. Demand continues to rise. Ontario needs to spend $150 – $220 billion over the next two decades just to keep the grid infrastructure up-to-date with demand or else Canadians will need to get used to blackouts.

Conservation voltage regulation (CVR) is one option to ease the stress put on the grid when demand is high, like during periods of extreme hot or cold weather. CVR regulates buildings’ incoming voltages to optimal levels through a transformer and a tap changer, thereby reducing power wastage and saving the grid electricity.

For example, Legend Power’s conservation voltage regulation technology, the Electrical Harmonizer-AVR, reduces a building’s energy consumption by 6-10% by:

  • Reducing energy consumption: kWh
  • Reducing real power: kW
  • Reducing reactive power: kVar

Read more information about energy conservation through conservation voltage regulation.

Ontario is also in a prime position to take advantage of CVR technologies because, as of April 14th, the Ontario Power Authority substantially increased conservation incentive funding, The Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program (ERIP) increased incentive funding to $800/kW from $250/kW for non-lighting measures. Read more about the increase in Ontario’s incentive funding increase.