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PowerStream unveils Canada’s ‘first of its kind’ Virtual Power Plant

Alectra Corporate Communications News Release / 2016/03/22

Launch of solar-storage pilot provides state-of-the art renewable energy offering to customers

VAUGHAN, ON, March 22, 2016 – PowerStream is trailblazing into the future of Ontario’s electricity delivery system, showcasing how residential customers can simultaneously generate their own clean energy and work together as a virtual power plant to augment the grid.

On Tuesday, PowerStream unveiled POWER.HOUSE, Canada’s first Virtual Power Plant using an aggregate fleet of 20 residential solar and energy storage systems located at customer homes, that can be autonomously controlled through intelligent software to simulate a single, larger power generating facility.

The technology being used is a combination of rooftop solar PV panels and a lithium-ion battery installed “behind the meter” at a customer’s home.  Customers will benefit from generating their own clean, renewable energy and displace a portion of their energy from the provincial grid,  leading to reduced exposure to peak electricity rates and significant bill reduction.  Customers will have the added benefit of outage protection by using energy from a combination of on-site stored and generated solar energy.

From a utility perspective, leveraging carbon-free generating resources and fast-responding energy storage assets can play a pivotal role in several grid supporting functions.  These resources can be used to reduce peak system loads, regulate frequency, and even defer capital costs associated with traditional electricity delivery infrastructure.  Coordinating a group of distributed energy resources to reinforce the grid serves as a true “win-win” proposition for customers and utilities alike.

Official Launch of PowerStream's POWER.HOUSE Program
Brian Bentz, President & CEO, PowerStream; Timothy O’Neill, Chair, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO); Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream Board Chair and City of Vaughan Mayor; and Bruce Campbell, President & CEO, IESO officially launch PowerStream’s POWER.HOUSE program at an event held in Vaughan, ON.


  • “POWER.HOUSE is another industry-first for PowerStream by providing its customers with the tools required to better manage their electricity costs while having a positive impact on the electricity grid and the environment,” said Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream Board Chair and City of Vaughan Mayor. “We expect to use this first of its kind pilot as a template to offer more sustainable programs for residential customers in the future.”
  • “The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is committed to assisting in developing and implementing new energy technologies and services that will help utilities provide customers with more energy choices,” sayid Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, IESO. “PowerStream’s Virtual Power Plant is one example of a new solution that we expect to have significant potential in Ontario.”


  • An array of solar panels, 12 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a bi-directional meter has been installed at the home of each POWER.HOUSE pilot participant.
  • PowerStream received grant funding from IESO for this project, and partnered with Sunverge Energy and Robertson Bright (RBI) to build the initial offering.


PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 375,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.


The IESO manages the province’s power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs and works with its partners to guide conservation efforts. On January 1, 2015, the Ontario Power Authority amalgamated with the IESO. For more information, please visit www.ieso.ca.


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