Spark’s Renewables team recently provided engineering, procurement and construction services for a microgrid project at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan). Located in North Cape, Prince Edward Island, WEICan has been testing wind turbines since 1981 and is an ideal location for wind energy research and testing.
“This was a very unique opportunity for Spark,” said Marc MacDonald, Project Manager at Spark Power. “Our Renewables team was fortunate enough to provide WEICan with their new test bed for this solar + storage microgrid project, located in an incredible geographic location for renewables research.”
Due to WEICan’s remote location, access to distributors and suppliers of materials and equipment was limited. This challenge, combined with restrictions due to COVID-19, caused Spark to remotely support the project construction by utilizing subcontractors to complete the construction phase.
“Grid–scale microgrids are a new thing, particularly grid–tied microgrids capable of auto-islanding, and experience with this technology is very limited,” said MacDonald. “Thinking about how the transitions would happen safely and effectively, while meeting the project deliverables, was quite challenging, but together with our client we came up with innovative solutions.”
This microgrid project is a first of its kind for PEI, and one of only very few in the Maritimes with this set of capabilities.
Photos ©Marc Macdonald