Climate change is taking the world by storm and a big contributing factor is the issue of the rise in carbon emissions. Canada is now hoping to accelerate this country’s low carbon future by introducing new programs such as The Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs), which will focus on energy technology that is cleaner and help modernize the electricity system operations that are in place. SREP specifically aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Canada’s equitable transition to an electrified economy, by encouraging the substitution of fossil-fuel generated power with renewables that can provide essential grid services.
The Revolutionization of Canada’s Electrical Grid and On-going Support of Renewables
SREPs will provide assistance by supporting eligible grid modernization projection and renewable energy, with the financial help that is needed for them to flourish during the initial construction stage. As a result, projects are then expected to use technology that is market ready to incorporate components such as inclusivity, equity, and diversity.
An owner of an Eligible project may be referred to as an eligible recipient, which may include the following:
- Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies.
- Any legal entities that are coherently incorporated or registered within Canada.
- Indigenous communities and governments, National and regional Indigenous councils/ organizations, and Indigenous for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Eligible projects must support various activities such as, the installation of permanent ‘proven’ technologies that are commercialized and have the intent to continue to operate within the expected operational environment, for all its assigned lifecycle. Eligible projects can also be working towards different forms of modification of an already present process, operating procedures, equipment, or systems that are for commercial operations, to ultimately accommodate and utilize the modern grid operations and renewable technology. It should also be noted that these projects must be in Canada and be available to provide the benefits needed to different Canadian energy systems.
The SREPs will support projects that fall under these 3 streams:
- These energy sources are already well established and produce energy that is commercially and up for use within Canada. If a generating project, they must have a minimum net installed capacity of 4 megawatts (MW), alternating current (AC) minimum, or if an Indigenous Project they must then have 500 kilowatts (kW) (AC).
- 10% of max eligibility for the total costs of the project and eligible to a maximum of $50 million.
- (ex. small hydro, onshore wind, or biomass electricity generation)
- These types of technologies are either being used in other countries on a commercial level or have been proven in Canada but are not yet available commercially.
- 30% of max eligibility for the total costs of the project and eligible to a maximum of $50 million.
- (ex. energy storage or geothermal energy).
Grid Modernization (Only eligible applicants are Utilities and System Operators):
- Must be integrated into existing and current day utility operational process and must not be a single technology deployment.
- For adding software/ hardware components to an existing energy project, it must already have an existing capacity of 1 MW (AC) or more.
- If an Indigenous-owned retrofit project, then it must have an existing capacity of 250 kW (AC) or more
- 50% of max eligibility for the total costs of the project and eligible to a maximum of $50 million.
- (ex. micro-grids, virtual power plants, and hardware/software to enable grid services)
The SREP will reimburse a part of the eligible expenditures that were incurred, which are necessary for the project to be implemented, such as:
- Salaries and benefits for people that are on payroll and employed by the Recipient
- Scientific, technical, professional, and contracting services
- Travel expenses
- Net of any tax rebate that the recipient is entitled to
- Capital expenditure
- If recipient is an Indigenous organization or is distributing funding amongst Indigenous organizations, expenses may include ‘honoraria’ and other costs associated with the Indigenous ceremonies
- Overhead expenses that are directly related to the execution of the Project and can also be included in the Total Project Costs (up to a maximum of 15% in eligible expenditures).
This is a continuous intake program that is always accepting applications until the funds are completely committed or the Program has reached its end date which is March 31, 2025.