A smart grid needs all of the parts to make it work, otherwise it’s like a car with only three wheels – we’re not going to get anywhere. Smart meters are just one of the building blocks in a smart electric system. Our vision is for an advanced, smarter grid that will connect all customers and SaskPower in the coming 5-10 years.
Smart meters are similar to regular digital meters, but include a smart module to enable two-way communications. If you own a smartphone, smart television, or other smart product, you probably already know how helpful smart technology can be.
In the future, SaskPower is going to need a quicker and easier way to connect customers generating their own renewable power to the electrical grid. We’ve set a goal to have 50 per cent of Saskatchewan’s power come from renewable sources by 2030. That means doubling the amount of renewable generation in the system from what it is today.
We’ll also need to track how much electricity those customers are generating so we can send power to where it’s needed across the electrical system. A smart grid is necessary to help us identify where our power is coming from, and where more is needed.
What’s happening right now
We’re partnering with two of our oil field customers to test approximately 500 commercial and industrial smart meters. These types of meters are typically used on large facilities. This is a different type of meter than a residential meter used for individual homes.
We’re taking a staged approach to installing meters, starting with testing and limited pilot projects.