Siemens is partnering with the British Columbia Institute of Technology to work on research and commercialization opportunities on smart grid cybersecurity and microgrids, identifying and pursuing the application of new technologies in these areas.
Siemens and BCIT will focus on the emerging area of smart microgrids, specifically the development of technologies, components, and solutions for cost-effective and environmentally responsible electrification. BCIT and Siemens have an existing and long-standing relationship as partners in previous smart grid projects including BCIT’s Smart Grid Laboratory Project, as well as the BCIT Energy OASIS Microgrid Project — the first campus-wide microgrid project in Canada.
Microgrids have been a hot area for investment in both the US and Canada. Just last week GE released notes on its strategy for microgrids in North America, noting that it plans to make a significant investment in the development of microgrid technology. The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization (ACMTC) is also holding an open competition for developers who wish to submit new microgrid technologies and ideas.
Microgrids are emerging as a solution for cities and states that are looking to update and expand grids with new smart technologies. These grids are typically more efficient than the massive scale grids that commonly power large areas. Microgrids can be used as part of planning and preparation against natural disasters or other events by powering anchor institutions like hospitals in addition to an existing large grid which may be may be more exposed.