The federal and New Brunswick governments are contributing $7.8 million to help the University of New Brunswick further develop its smart grid initiative.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency said in a statement that the Fredericton-based university is undertaking a five-year research initiative to address the complex technical, regulatory, and social issues involved in moving from conventional electric power systems to smart grids.

The Atlantic Digital Grid project will result in a number of new tools and technologies for energy distribution, analysis, threat detection, infrastructure, and business modeling. 

The Smart Grid Innovation Network, or SGIN, established in partnership with NB Power and Siemens in 2015, is also expanding to support initiatives such as the Atlantic Digital Grid project, and build on UNB’s existing assets and expertise in energy management.

“The emerging field of smart grid technology has the potential to transform the world’s power systems, and the University of New Brunswick is at the forefront of these innovations,” said UNB President Paul Mazerolle in the statement. “The Atlantic Digital Grid project will join the Smart Grid Innovation Network and the Emera & NB Power Research Centre for Smart Grid Technologies to expand the innovation hub in our region, driving research and discovery and fuelling growth in the Atlantic Canadian economy.”

ACOA is contributing $6.7 million to UNB’s Atlantic Digital Grid project through the Atlantic Innovation Fund, which funds major research projects between private companies and research institutions.

ACOA is also contributing $879,910 towards the SGIN project to hire expertise through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, while the New Brunswick government is contributing $200,000.

The goal of the smart grid movement is to use cutting-edge technology in the grid and improvements through data analytics and mobile applications to optimize the introduction of new electricity generation and monitoring technologies. 

Disclosure: UNB and ACOA are clients of Entrevestor.