FREDERICTON (GNB) – NB Power has entered into a multi-year agreement with Siemens Canada to integrate Smart Grid technology into the province’s electrical system and create a centre of competence based in Fredericton. Premier David Alward joined NB Power and Siemens today for the announcement.

The agreement will allow NB Power to continue to offer its customers stable rates by modernizing the provincial electrical system.

“Our Energy Blueprint laid out the policy and vision that will create a foundation of success for NB Power through its agreement with Siemens,” said Alward. “This new venture will enable NB Power to place an even greater focus on its customers.”

In addition to benefitting ratepayers, Alward said the agreement will also create jobs and help rebuild New Brunswick’s economy.

“We are pleased that Siemens Canada will create a centre of competence that will add about 40 new jobs in our province,” said Alward. “Their presence in our province will be a tremendous catalyst for new opportunities in our communities, particularly in the information and communications technology sector.”

Recognizing the New Brunswick Energy Blueprint directive that “smart grid initiatives be measured in ratepayer benefits and economic activity,” NB Power and Siemens Canada will work together to accelerate the benefits of reducing and shifting demand while ensuring Siemens’ best practices are part of the implementation.

As part of NB Power’s Reduce and Shift Demand (RASD) strategy, implementing Siemens’ Smart Grid programs will enable customers to control and manage their energy usage. Customers will have more choices about how and when they use their electricity in the future, including:

●    smart communicating thermostats;
●    energy smart appliances;
●    self-serve options for energy shifting;
●    information dashboards; and
●    modern energy thermal storage devices.

“This partnership presents us with the unique opportunity to showcase Siemens’ world class Smart Grid technology and expertise with a fully integrated and innovative utility like NB Power,” said Jan Mrosik, global head of Siemens Smart Grid. “We are very excited about this partnership and chance to work together.”

Improved technology will allow NB Power to understand customer usage in real time, and by collaborating with customers, the opportunity exists to reshape the demand on NB Power’s electrical system. By automating and shifting electricity to times of day when there is less overall need, NB Power will be able to use lower-cost generating assets to meet its requirements.

“The way we use and generate electricity is significantly changing in New Brunswick,” said Gaetan Thomas, NB Power president and chief executive officer. “We want to place our customers at the centre of our electrical system and work with them to modernize the way our energy is consumed in the future. The introduction of Smart Grid initiatives will provide choices for customers to control their future electricity cost. This agreement will have a positive impact on our customers, the provincial economy, as well as the environment.”

The agreement will serve as a foundation for NB Power’s RASD program, which will provide benefits to customers while contributing to the utility’s priorities of debt reduction and becoming a top quartile performer compared to other North American utilities, as outlined in its strategic plan.

It will also bring NB Power one step closer to implementing one of the key priorities in its strategic plan.

New Brunswickers can expect to receive information later this year on pilot projects scheduled to start in 2013. Residential and commercial customers are encouraged to participate in this program. More information is available online.

NB Power, in operation since 1920,  employs about 2,300 workers and serves more than 345,000 customers.

LINK:

●    NB Power