February 5, 2009 / 8:49 PM / in 9 years

Ontario plans to invest in "smart" power grid

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Ontario will invest in rebuilding the province’s electricity distribution system into a “smart” grid to better utilize renewable energy, Premier Dalton McGuinty said on Thursday.

Ontario’s current grid was designed to deliver power from a few large generating facilities, and needs to be upgraded if the province is to tap sources such as solar and wind power , McGuinty told the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.

So-called smart grids use technology that allows for the two-way flow of electricity, so it can be distributed from a wider range of sources.

The premier’s pledge came a day after a report for the Central Canadian province said there was wide support for the idea of having a smart grid, but major questions about what kind of technology should be used still had to be resolved.

An investment in the new grid would be part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which will be presented to the legislature this month, McGuinty said.

No cost estimates were given for the smart grid plan, and provincial officials were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson

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