Electrical grid

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is currently investigating ‘Canada’s grid readiness’ by launching new public health consultations aimed at identifying the impact EVs will have on load management. These public consultations promise to open the floor to experts, utility providers, system operators and more to better understand Canada’s grid challenges and identify solutions.

The consultations were launched last month, anticipating that electric vehicle production and adoption rates will continue to surge as consumer interest grows. The questions posed to experts and industry stakeholders are as follows:

1. What are the implications of accelerated targets for requiring the sale of all new vehicles be zero-emission on the electricity grid? What challenges do they pose to the electricity system or electricity sector generally, what opportunities do they present?

2. Do you anticipate disproportionate impacts of challenges or opportunities for some electricity customer demographics more than others?

3. How can the federal government support electricity sector efforts to enable adoption of EVs at an accelerated rate?

The consultation responses, which were due at the beginning of this month, identified a number of key challenges and opportunities, including:
• Removing or mitigating customer barriers to EV adoption
• Addressing rate impacts, including assessments of different customer segments who may bear more of the burden than others without intervention
• Resolving reliability concerns for the electric grid resulting from ZEV integration
• Leveraging the ZEV effort to address broader challenges of electrification and electricity transformation by 2050
• Supporting the grid, and creating opportunities through Vehicle-to-X (V2X) developments
• Implementing new business models enabled by industry trends

This likely won’t be the last of these grid investigation efforts, as NRCan is “currently stewarding a $100 million over four years, utility-led Smart Grid Program (SGP).”

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