Sault Smart Grid

The Sault Smart Grid (SSG) is the first of its kind in Canada. Using innovative technology, the community-wide project will revamp Sault Ste. Marie's energy-distribution infrastructure and deliver multiple benefits to PUC Distribution customers. 

Quick General Facts 

  • The Sault Smart Grid (SSG) is a community-wide smart grid that will cover PUC Distribution's entire service territory. 
  • The total cost of the project is 24.5 million (net of NRCan's funding)
  • The project secured funding from Natural Resources Canada up to $11.8 million.
  • A competitive public tendering process awarded the contract to Overland Contracting Canada Inc. (wholly owned subsidiary of Black and Veatch).
  • The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approved the project in April 2021.
  • SSG will have a lasting impact on how PUC Distribution delivers power to homes and businesses. 

How it Works

  • In a smart grid, an integrated system of internet-connected meters, sensors and equipment utilize two-way communication and data management software processes to automatically control elements of the grid.
    • Selected smart meters already installed in each home and business in Sault Ste. Marie will send live data information to PUC's new Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) software that processes that data and then automatically controls elements of the grid. 
  • This is where the system then uses Volt/VAR optimization and Distribution Automation. 
    • Volt/VAR safety reduces voltage delivered to consumers in an effort to save energy.
    • Distribution automation is the 'self-healing' aspect of the grid in the event of a power outage. Sensors across all power lines and substations allow the system to pinpoint where an outage has occurred and automatically reroute electricity to restore power to an affected area and help crews respond to affected areas for repairs. 

Benefits to PUC Distribution Customers:

  • SSG will deliver direct benefits to customers through:
    • Estimates show that the smart grid will result in average energy savings of 2.7 per cent for residential customers. 
    • Improved reliability will be realized through a reduction in the impact and duration of power outages. 
    • Improved planning and data reporting systems through integrating live system and metering data. 
  • The SSG will result in a direct reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equivalent to 2, 804 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. 


Construction has begun in the spring of 2022. We are expected to be in operation by Q1 of 2023. 

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