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Clean power for the north

With no connection to the provincial power grid, several remote communities in northern Ontario continue to rely on dirty diesel fuel for electricity.

See how Ontario Power Generation is working to help one such community to offset its dependence on diesel fuel through the development and implementation of a solar-energy storage, renewable micro grid.

The Gull Bay Diesel Offset Micro Grid Project

​In northwestern Ontario, OPG is working with the Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (KZA), also known as Gull Bay First Nation, to build a new renewable micro grid that will help reduce the remote community’s dependence on diesel generation.

The ground-breaking micro grid project, a first for OPG, will utilize solar panels, lithium-ion batteries for storage, and a control system to help the community offset its diesel usage by more than 100,000 litres per year — roughly 25% of current consumption.

Key facts:

  • Located on the western shore of Lake Nipigon.
  • KZA on-reserve population of about 300 people.
  • Currently heavily reliant on diesel generators to provide all electricity.

It is one of four remote First Nation communities in Ontario that the Independent Electricity System Operator has determined cannot currently be connected economically to the provincial grid.

OPG, with the support of various technical firms, is acting as the development partner for the micro grid, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2019 and have a service life of 20 years. OPG is coordinating government funding, managing procurement and construction, and providing the remaining capital investment. KZA will own and operate the facility and OPG will have access to data from the micro grid, which will provide useful “proof of concept” information for future micro grid deployments.

Gull Bay diesel offset micro grid facts

300 Tonnes

Of carbon emissions will be eliminated annually through the micro grid

20 Years

Is the estimated service life of the Gull Bay micro grid

555 kWh DC

Battery system will store energy from solar panels

360 kW DC

Solar photovoltaic capacity, capturing energy from the sun through over 1000 solar panels

A new kind of partnership

​OPG’s micro grid collaboration with Gull Bay First Nation will help the community reduce its dependence on diesel power generation and demonstrates an innovative, viable solution to long-standing northern energy issues.

Once the micro grid is up and running, KZA’s development corporation, Ma’iingan Development Inc., will take ownership of the assets and deliver the clean power to community homes and buildings through an existing distribution system. The corporation will receive all revenues in the process. It’s the first stepping stone towards KZA’s long-term vision for a clean energy future.

Along with the Lower Mattagami and Peter Sutherland Senior hydro generation projects, the Gull Bay micro grid collaboration is OPG’s fifth development project with an Indigenous community.