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Saskatoon school gets solar-powered “Smartflower” microgrid

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A green technology project at a Saskatoon high school, said to be the first of its kind in Canada, is paving the way for more installations like it across the country, the company’s CEO says.

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Saskatoon Industry Education Council and Siemens Canada on Thursday unveiled the Smartflower Microgrid at Bishop Mahoney high school. Smartflower MG is being used to power classrooms and provide real-time data on electricity production and energy absorption — all with curriculum resources to provide insight into green technology, solar power, data analytics and grid management.

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Jerry Chwang, head of Microgrid Solutions, explains how the Smartflower microgrid (MG) follows the sun, absorbing energy and providing power for one of the classrooms at Bishop James Mahoney High School. Photo taken in Saskatoon on Sept. 22, 2022.
Jerry Chwang, head of Microgrid Solutions, explains how the Smartflower microgrid (MG) follows the sun, absorbing energy and providing power for one of the classrooms at Bishop James Mahoney High School. Photo taken in Saskatoon on Sept. 22, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“Access to the Smartflower technology and connecting it to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is a great way to showcase what careers are available now and in the future in Saskatchewan,” SIEC executive director Janet Uchacz-Hart said.

According to Siemens Canada, the technology behind the microgrid can be used to generate, control and distribute power not just in schools, but also small communities, critical infrastructures, remote locations, islands, military institutions and more. The microgrid at Bishop Mahoney is the first educational MG in Canada.

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“It is very rewarding to see young people excited about working with these technologies in the classroom and using the knowledge to make their own homes and communities sustainable,” Siemens Canada president-CEO Faisal Kazi said.

Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Jeremy Harrison said the province’s tech sector “has experienced exponential growth” and that a project like the one at Bishop Mahoney “showcases technology’s role in engaging our youth and shaping the future of clean tech.”

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2022-09-22 14:38:30

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