Federal funding powers U of R clean energy research

News Release Release Date: August 11, 2022 11:05 a.m.

Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) has provided the University of Regina with $976,000 in funding to develop the space and infrastructure needed to establish a microgrid - a self-sustaining electrical grid that has electricity generation, consumption, storage, and control all in one place.

The lead researcher responsible for the grid says it will be a living lab for research and teaching.

“This microgrid lab will be the first of its kind in Saskatchewan,” says electronic systems engineering associate professor Dr. Irfan Al-Anbagi. “It will open a range of possibilities for students and researchers interested in the renewable energy sector.”

The lab will create opportunities to explore digital applications for commercialization, provide industrial partners facilities to test models and further their research and development goals, and position University of Regina graduate students to grow the clean energy technology sector in Saskatchewan and commercialize their research discoveries.

“Our government is proud to support the University of Regina as it gathers and shares knowledge through this micro-grid living lab project,” said the honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “We know that energy innovation and transition requires support for research, to test and support new ideas that will grow the clean energy sector here in Saskatchewan. Projects like these are vital to Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

“The University of Regina has the expertise and the capacity to take on this project and run with it,” says Al-Anbagi. “We will be able to further our long-standing relationships with industrial partners and help prairie industrial partners adopt renewable energy and become less dependent on fossil fuels.”

He says the University is well positioned to play an important role in leading the innovation and training necessary for achieving net-zero emissions in regions where coal-powered energy is prevalent and energy transitions to low carbon solutions, such as hydro, solar, and thermal, are particularly challenging.

Dr. Christopher Yost, interim vice-president (research), says the microgrid will allow U of R researchers to lead in renewable energy training and innovation for the Prairie region.

“Ultimately, researchers will be able to provide leadership, support, and knowledge translation for positive energy transitions to prairie industries and communities,” says Yost.

About the University of Regina

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,000 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.


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