With the goal of increasing literacy across a wide range of applications related to renewable energy, WiRE field trips offer the opportunity to learn about leading technologies, projects, companies and associations that drive renewable power and clean tech industries.
Previous Field Trips
Independent Electricity System Operator: Open to All
March 26 2019
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) ensures the reliability of Ontario's power system, operating the province's electricity grid in real-time, planning for future energy needs, enabling informed decision-making and designing a more efficient electricity marketplace to support sector evolution.
'Intro to Innovation' at S&C Electric Canada Ltd.
October 15 2018
S&C Electric Canada Ltd. is a company founded on the principle of innovation. At this field trip, participants experienced S&C's cutting-edge technology first hand in it's state-of-the-art Solution Centre. Following a factor tour, participants heard from S&C experts on the changing grid and the evolving energy ecosystem that is driving the need for increased innovation. The session ended by looking at one of S&C's most recent projects, the North Bay Community Energy Park.
Solar Powered Farm & Barrel Brewing tour of GoodLot Farm & GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co
August 15, 2108
Alectra’s Vaughan Transformer Station & Control Room Virtual Tour
May 23 2018
Kinectrics Lab Tour & Presentation
April 10, 2108
Northern Transformers Site Visit & Presentation
MaRS Advanced Energy Centre
January 17, 2018
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
November 24, 2017
Participants toured the beautiful and green GoodLot Farm and GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Company and heard about how Goodlot is the first farm-to-barrel brewery in the Greenbelt featuring fresh, hyper-local, estate-quality ales & lagers. The visit included a tour of farm operations, history of the Headwaters area, and a tour of the brewhouse with a focus on net-zero energy systems, organic production and low carbon construction. Beer sample was included!
The Alectra System Controllers in Vaughan Control Room monitor, authorize and direct the safe and reliable operation of the distribution system in the Simcoe County and York Region areas. Field trip participants experienced the construction and operation of Alectra Utilities' Vaughan Transformer Station No. 4 virtually through video footage and expert presentations and commentary.
Attendees toured Kinectrics facilities and learned how Kinectrics provides 25 unique laboratory third party testing services to qualify new products on behalf of customers, utilities and manufacturers to a variety of internationally recognized standards, and perform commissioning tests in the field and failure investigations/forensics in the lab to help clients understand modes of failure on components used in the power industry.
At Northern Transformer’s Maple Ontario manufacturing facility (90,000 sq. ft. factory space plus 15,000 sq. ft. of office space for engineering and customer support), field trip participants learned basic understanding of how transformers are designed and manufactured via technical and business presentations by Alexei Miecznikowski, CEO and Colin Mark, VP Sales and Marketing, and enjoyed a facilities tour and networking coffee break.
The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) fosters the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Ontario and Canada, and leverages successes into international markets. Using strategic programming to overcome the systemic barriers to market entry, scale-up and export, the AEC is a catalyst for the adoption of advanced energy technologies. Participants heard more about their work from AEC speakers Kathleen Kauth (Director, Partnerships) and Pallavi Roy (AEC Associate), and from AEC tenant and energy storage market leader NRStor Inc., who presented on their business models for utility, commercial, residential and remote community energy storage solutions.
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) works at the heart of Ontario's power system. The IESO delivers key services across the electricity sector including: managing the power system in real-time, planning for the province's future energy needs, enabling conservation and designing a more efficient electricity marketplace to support sector evolution. WiRE attendees learned about the IESO, Ontario’s electricity system, priorities for the IESO, how the sector has been transformed, and an overview of the control room.
PCL Southgate Solar Farm
Oct 11, 2017
Northwind Solutions Group
Sept 27, 2017
Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre (EVDC)
June 14 2017
Oct 12, 2016
June 21, 2016
Siemens Blade Manufacturing Facility
May 26, 2016
April 11, 2016
Jan 12, 2016
NRStor - 2MW Minto Flywheel System
Aug 11, 2015
April 23, 2015
PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centres. Backed by PCL’s 110-year legacy, and with more than three decades of experience in Southwestern Ontario’s dynamic construction market, the Toronto office is PCL’s largest district with more than 500 of the construction industry’s most talented professionals and an annual construction volume of more than $1.0B.
Northwind Solutions Group is an established leader in the business of monitoring, analyzing and maintaining renewable energy assets and maximizing performance and clean power reliability. Keeping things running smoothly is paramount to any organization's bottom line, with power generation often being especially complicated and sensitive. Join Women in Renewable Energy - WiRE on September 27th from 11am to 1pm for a tour of Northwind’s offices and control room, where we will learn about their risk management minded approach to operations & maintenance of solar and wind farms. Lunch is included.
Plug'n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles to maximize their environmental and economic benefits. Since 2011, Plug'n Drive has established itself as a leader in the electric vehicle industry. A trusted source of unbiased information about electric cars, charging stations and the electricity sector. https://plugndrive.ca/electric-vehicle-discovery-centre
G&W Electric has helped energize the world with innovative power system solutions. Learn about load and fault interrupting switchgear and recolsers required at Wind and Solar facilities and enjoy a tour of our manufacturing facility. Survalent Technology makes real-time operational intelligence and control easy. They integrate data from across your network to optimize your operations and help you efficiently make critical decisions that improve reliability and business performance. www.gwelec.com
Hydrostor Inc. hosted WiRE at their Toronto Island facility, demonstrating how the world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage (UCAES) system works. Hydrostor’s energy storage solution addresses the issues of intermittency (solar & wind), load balancing, reserve capacity, and peak-shaving. Presented by Curtis VanWalleghem (CEO) and Cameron Lewis (President and Founder). For more information visit: www.hydrostor.ca
The Siemens’ blade manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ontario has been manufacturing wind turbine blades since 2013. Situated on 50 acres of land, the 23,553 square-metres facility previously manufactured 49-metre blades for the SWT-2.3-101 geared-drive platform, and now produces 55-metre blades for the SWT-3.2-113 direct-drive platform. Blades produced in Tillsonburg are installed in Canadian wind farms and abroad. www.siemens.com
Silfab Solar is a quality international leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of ultra-high efficiency PV modules with just-in-time manufacturing. Silfab has leveraged over 30 years of solar experience and is part of the vertically integrated family of companies through Silfab S.r.l. (Italy). Silfab’s state of the art, 300 MW manufacturing facility located near Toronto, Canada has helped pioneer smart module technology, glass on glass solutions and bifacial modules. Silfab’s technically innovative process produces superior reliability and performance specifically designed for the North American market. Silfab balances manufacturing capacity between OEM partners, Silfab branded modules and new technology. www.silfab.ca
In business since 2007, Morgan Solar owns several proprietary patents one of which is their Light-guide Solar Optic (LSO), the first to concentrate sunlight in a planar direction, elegantly sidestepping the cost, materials, and complexity associated with CPV solar modules based on depth-of-focus lenses, mirrors, or prisms. Built of an array of LSOs, the Sun Simba™ module achieves industry-leading efficiencies in the lowest cost, most lightweight and robust form. The visit was hosted by Nic Morgan, VP Business Development and Marketing with a visit by brother Jean Paul Morgan, President/CTO who joined the WiRE group during lunch. Jean Paul holds a Masters Degree in Science by the University of Toronto. http://morgansolar.com/
In December 2012, NRStor was selected by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), through a competitive RFP process to provide 2 megawatts of frequency regulation service to Ontario’s grid using Temporal Power’s innovative flywheel energy storage technology. Find out more about what you will see HERE.
Host Jay Heaman, Manager of Engineering at Woodstock Hydro, led a tour of one of Ontario’s first small-scale microGRID technology systems. Whites Lane MicroGRID demonstrated renewable energy and energy storage systems, connecting electric vehicles, customer loads and smart control systems. And Ryerson University's Annie Chow spoke about a new 3D modeling software initiative.
Here's a video of the field trip:
PS. Here's another video from Woodstock Hydro's Green Energy Doors Open last October.
IESO - Independent Electricity System Operator
January 22, 2015
As of January 1, 2015, IESO and Ontario Power Authority (OPA) have merged and now operate as the IESO. In its new mandate, the IESO is responsible for both real-time operation of the Ontario electricity system and market as well as long-term energy planning and procurement, and the promotion of a conservation culture in the province. Visit www.ieso.ca for details. Field trip included IESO presentation, control room tour and lunch.
October 9, 2014
Northwind Solutions will host a WiRE educational field trip at their facility, instructing about basic activities within the Northwind operations centre with a focus on solar monitoring, presented by David Asling-Snee, VP of Operations and Anup Modi, Operations Analyst. Northwind Solutions provides Renewable Energy Asset Management and Maintenance Programs, services and equipment to the RE sector.
Visit www.northwindsolutions.com for details.
Melancthon Wind Energy Project
Hosted by TransAlta, and guided by Scott Forsyth - Operations Supervisor, WiRE participants received a tour of the operations and maintenance (O&M) building, technology presentation, an interactive discussion and Q&A about the Melancthon Wind Facility.
Read the MaRS blog on "Smarter Wind: Innovations in wind energy" for insights on the event: Melancthon field trip: http://www.marsdd.com/news-and-insights/smarter-wind-innovations-wind-energy/
Over 40 participants learned about the important initiatives supported by the MaRS CleanTech Practice, and met the women entrepreneurs behind some the companies that receive MaRS CleanTech support.
Read the MaRS blog "Advancing the Role of Women in the Green Economy" for insights into the event: http://www.marsdd.com/2014/02/21/advancing-the-role-of-women-in-the-green-economy/
Rooftop Solar Tour
Hosted by solar company RESCo and rooftop solar project owner SolarShare, participants learned about large scale rooftop projects and community-owned solar power at the information presentation and rooftop solar plant site visit. This included climbing and descending a 30ft (9.1 m) ladder.
RESCo Energy Inc. Presentation:
Have a field trip idea? Contact WiRE.