The office of MP Lloyd Longfield announced on Saturday a $3 million investment in Alectra Utilities Corporation for a pair of smart grid projects the federal government says will help to create smarter, greener cities and communities.

“One of the greatest opportunities for Canada is the shift toward clean growth. To combat climate change, Canada needs new and innovative approaches to electricity generation and distribution,” a press release from his office says.

“That is why supporting smart grid projects at the community level is a key component of the Government of Canada’s approach to a clean energy future.”

The first smart grid project will demonstrate the ability to buy and sell power between utilities and residences. Using blockchain and other technologies, homeowners will be compensated for the power they provide to the grid.

For customers, it will increase convenience, provide greater control and transparency and enhance service reliability. Utilities will have the ability to conduct real-time transactions and better respond to demand.

The second project will see 10 homes retrofitted with solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and hybrid heating systems to demonstrate how these integrated controls can significantly reduce pollution. 

Alectra developed these projects at their Green Energy and Technology Centre in Guelph, in collaboration with Enbridge Gas Inc., Ryerson University and the City of Markham.

Ottawa says that smart grid projects like thus one “help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase grid resiliency, improve power quality and save customers money.”

Both projects are funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure Program and are part of Canada’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

The government says they are investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.