Graybar Canada Blog

What You Need to Know About Decentralized Electricity

June 5, 2018

The emergence and popularity of renewable energy are making electricity one of the fastest-changing industries. Along with advances in technology, producing and storing energy is becoming more reliable and inexpensive. Businesses and homeowners are educating themselves about decentralized electricity where energy is produced close to where it will be used rather than at a large plant.

What is decentralized electricity?

Graybar Canada’s national sales manager says, “Decentralized electricity is happening as we replace some of the older technology and get rid of coal, natural gas, and oil fire plants and look towards renewable energy to replace these traditional power generation technologies. Many wind and solar farms are scattered across Canada and are often designed and constructed to a smaller scale than the larger power generators of the past. To sum up, decentralized electricity is expanding the geographic footprint of power generation across a region.”

Who does this benefit?

The spreading out of power generation is a huge benefit especially for those people and businesses in remote communities. “There are many remote communities across Canada which are located a great distance from traditional power generating facilities and in some cases the transmission & distribution (T&D) system. Some of these remote communities have either no T&D connections or unreliable T&D connections to the existing power generation systems. It costs much less to decentralize electricity and is quicker to design, procure and construct a micro-grid system for a small community where they can have their own stand-alone power generation and distribution network that is much more reliable and efficient.”

The benefits

Graybar Energy offers full solar solutions for industrial and commercial business owners.  As solar technology advances the cost to build continues to decrease. Rooftop solar has become much more accessible for industrial and commercial businesses. We recommend that “if you’re going to stay in an industrial or commercial building for an extended period it really makes a lot of sense to consider a rooftop solar installation to offset your current electricity bills. Economically, it makes sense and from a Climate Change and sustainability perspective, this is the right choice for many of our customers. As the carbon tax rules develop and come into play, many companies are being proactive and installing rooftop solar net metering projects to assist with offsetting their consumption and providing their organizations with future carbon credits.” Depending on your project, you can have the ability to sell unused power back to the grid with a FiT or Micro-FiT contract, use the solar system for net metering and/or store the solar energy with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) when it’s needed.  Many Canadian provinces have established financial incentives for those industrial, commercial and residential customers that decide to install renewable energy projects to help offset the upfront capital costs.

The future

The future of renewable energy has developed a lot in the past 10 years and innovations continue to make this industry more efficient and inexpensive. One technology Graybar Energy is excited about is ‘solar glass’ and its potential deployment in large skyscraper buildings in major cities across Canada. “Electricity bills can be very high for large office buildings and this technological innovation would help offset the bills and be a big game-changer when developing future skyscrapers.”


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