Essex Powerlines is implementing a near real-time, local electricity market in its southwestern Ontario service territory. This innovative project, called PowerShare, will harness the flexibility of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels, battery storage, electric vehicles, and demand response resources to meet or reduce electricity demand.
In the first phase, participants will include new and existing DER owners in the commercial, agricultural and manufacturing industries in Leamington. From a transmission system perspective, the project will test the provision of wholesale grid services outside of the IESO-administered market, and will involve development of local market rules and testing of a transmission-distribution coordination protocol.
PowerShare is made possible by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Grid Innovation Fund and the Ontario Energy Board Innovation Sandbox, and is supported by partners NODES (Norway), Essex Energy and Utilismart Corporation.
As the first project of its kind in North America, PowerShare is changing the paradigm for what a distribution utility can look like, with the potential for tremendous benefits for all parties involved. Put differently, Essex Powerlines will demonstrate the ability of a local distribution company (LDC) to take on the broader role of a distribution system operator (DSO).
Click here to read Essex Powerlines feature cover story in the winter issue of The Distributor.