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Sari Maritzer's Articles

Going for the Green: Municipalities Embrace Environmental Responsibility - Sponsored by: Grant Thornton

For many municipalities and utilities, having a ‘green’ strategy has gone from optional to essential. These strategies include a wide range of tactics aimed at reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions. Here are three of the most popular we’ve observed: Electricity Source Management Utilities can support green initiatives by shifting electricity sources toward renewable energy and purchasing non-regulated renewable assets such as solar, wind, run-of-river, and tidal. For example, EPCOR, the City of Edmonton’s wholly-owned utility, has introduced a Green Power Initiative for all water cycle utilities it owns and operates on the city’s behalf. ¹ Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Utilities are supporting the transition to EV by making charging stations more widely available and promoting the use of electric vehicles in their fleet and among their employees. And, by incentivizing EV owners to charge at night, utilities are able to manage demand. Municip ...

A Simplified, Visual Approach to Substation Inspection Reporting - Sponsored by: ERTH Power Corporation

Author: Chris White, President and CEO of ERTH Corporation With over thirty years of experience in the electric power distribution industry, ERTH Corporation’s Infrastructure division proudly maintains, repairs, inspects and installs substations for its own LDC, ERTH Power Corporation, as well as other utilities and private companies across Ontario. Thorough routine substation maintenance inspections are critical to ensure equipment reliability and risk mitigation. Minor issues can quickly become major issues if not identified, closely monitored and repaired in a timely manner. Insufficient inspection and maintenance reports can expose gaps in risk management practices, making utility companies more vulnerable to insurance claims and increased premiums. For these reasons, ERTH takes tremendous pride in performing routine substation inspections in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) and various testing standards such as the NETA standards. Throughout ERTH’s extensiv ...

Elexicon Energy Builds Canada’s First Preplanned Nested Microgrid Community - Sponsored by: Elexicon Energy

Words like microgrids, smart homes, solar power and electric vehicles used to be fantasy, but guess what – all of it is happening in Pickering, Ontario. Elexicon Energy recently partnered with Opus One Solutions and Marshall Homes to build a preplanned microgrid for a community of 27 townhomes in Pickering. You may wonder why this is important. Well, it is special because it’s the first preplanned residential community with nested microgrid in the country. This pilot project received funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Energy and Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) under the Smart Grid and IESO Grid Innovation funds. This smart grid community features electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop solar panels, lithium-ion battery energy storage, and an innovative smart metering system for community use. By using Opus One Solutions software platform GridOS® residents are able to monitor their electricity usage and increase or decrease how they use electricity in a more effic ...

The EDA Signs EHRC’s Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

On June 23, the EDA’s Teresa Sarkesian, President and CEO, signed the Electricity Human Resources Canada Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – a public commitment to promote diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the workplace. Signatories are committed to improving opportunities for under-represented groups through changes in governance and organizational policies, training and development, and recruitment and retention. Over the next two years, the EDA is committed to the Accord and will identify, implement and track progress of organizational initiatives supporting a number of commitments as outlined in the Accord. We look forward to doing our part in making meaningful change within our organization, and to promoting the accord throughout the electricity distribution sector. The EDA encourages others to join the Accord to help demonstrate their own commitment to working towards supporting an inclusive workplace for all. Watch the video for our full statement and visit th ...

Three Questions to Ask In Order to Balance Unprecedented Change Pressures with the Longer-Term Nature of Utilities? - Sponsored by: Grant Thornton

Utilities are facing unprecedented levels of change. From creating and implementing green strategies, selecting and adopting new technologies, and finding and mitigating cybersecurity vulnerabilities, the pace of change is incredible and is not expected to slow. Utilities themselves, however, are in the business of making longer term investments to provide essential services. So, how do utilities balance the increasing pace of change with the longer time horizon needed for its investments? This is like asking why we should change the way we deliver electricity when wires and poles have already been built and have many years of useful life ahead of them. Here are three questions to consider for utilities who are deciding when and how often to change in response to increasing internal and external change pressures: What is the cost and payoff? – consider both the cost of action (to change), but also the cost of inaction (resisting change). The latter is less thought of but equally important. The &ls ...

NEW! CUEE Digital Buyer’s Marketplace

The EDA is pleased to announce that our new online CUEE Digital Buyer’s Marketplace has launched! Through a new CUEE website, you get access to anyone, anywhere, 24/7 and 365 days a year, as part of a digital catalogue of vendors, with no travel or accommodation expenses of an in-person event. Vendors can showcase products all year long, with the potential to reach a wider North American audience, instead of the limited two-and-a-half-day in-person event. The CUEE Digital Buyer’s Marketplace will also be promoted extensively by the EDA to drive potential customers to your dedicated exhibitor page. VENDORS: To discuss the right package to meet your business development needs, please contact us at mediasales@eda-on.ca to ensure you are part of the new CUEE Digital Buyer’s Marketplace. BUYERS: Shop for all of your utility needs with ease from anywhere and explore an online catalogue of vendors all in one place. Check out the new online CUEE Digital Buyer’s Marketplace at www.c ...

The Time is Now to Take Our Moonshot - Sponsored by: AMERESCO

Jim Fonger, VP Asset& Advanced Technology Development, Ameresco jfonger@ameresco.com If, like me, you are of a certain age then you watched the Jetsons as a kid. Believe it or not that little cartoon successfully predicted the advent of video calls, robot vacuums, smart watches, drones, holograms, tablets, and flat screen TVs. But the thing everybody really wanted was the flying car.  I really like my electric vehicle and it looks like a Jetson car, but it does not fly.  I bought my EV and made other changes to my lifestyle because I am greatly concerned about one thing the Jetsons did not predict: climate change. At last count 1,935 jurisdictions in 34 countries have declared a climate emergency, according to the Climate Emergency Declaration. This reflects the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that we have only 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Beyond this would significantly worsen the risk to hundreds of millions of people of extreme ...

LDC Sector Celebrates Winners & Nominees at 2021 EDA Excellence Awards Gala

On May 20, over 200 members attended the EDA Awards Gala to celebrate LDC excellence in the sector. Thank you to EDA Board Chair Chris White, President and CEO of ERTH Corporation, for hosting the event, and to our corporate and event sponsors for their generous contributions. Hat offs to our LDC members for all the amazing work you do in the communities you serve. That’s why, this year, every LDC member will be recognized as a winner of the Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Congratulations to this year’s award winners in the following categories for all your hard work and well-deserved recognition: The LDC Performance Excellence Award recognizes outstanding performance in occupational health and safety, operations, finance, conservation, and contributions to the community. This year it was awarded to Entegrus Powerlines for accomplishments that included a comprehensive health and safety management system worthy of IHSA CORTM 2 ...

Operational Technology (OT) at Risk: Key Takeaways Following the Colonial Pipeline and Oldsmar Water Treatment Breaches - Sponsored by: Grant Thornton

The latest breach to the Colonial Pipeline highlights the importance of cybersecurity in critical infrastructure. Following the ransomware infection, Colonial had to shut down its pipeline control system—which is responsible for approximately 45 per cent of the fuel for the East Coast of the US. This comes as the municipal water facility for Oldsmar, FL is recovering from a breach where an attacker attempted to raise sodium hydroxide levels in the water being treated to levels that could harm its residents. Although the Colonial breach details are not fully known, the Oldsmar breach occurred due to weak access controls and the use of insecure remote access software. Key takeaways: The Oldsmar breach was thwarted because a water utility technician noticed irregularities in changes to the sodium hydroxide level in the utility’s control system. The question is: how well are utilities proactively monitoring their OT environments for cybersecurity events? Luck should not be a factor in identif ...

Minister Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Congratulates the EDA's LDC Award Winners

The following statement from Minister Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines was presented at the 2021 EDA Award Gala on May 20:   Statement by Minister Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Electricity Distributors Association Virtual Awards Event    On behalf of the Ontario government, I want to extend our congratulations to today’s award winners. Recognition of your service to Ontarians is well deserved.  I’d like to thank the Electricity Distributors Association and its members for your commitment, dedication and remarkable flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This has been an extraordinary year for Ontario’s electricity sector. The EDA’s members have remained nimble, resilient and committed to managing this evolving and complex environment. As the closest point of contact for Ontario’s electricity customers, your efforts helped to ensure that supply continued unin ...

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