As part of its plans to build the utility of the future, Saint John Energy has partnered with three Norwegian companies to pilot smart water heater and energy forecasting technology.

The project, announced this month, is part of the New Brunswick electric utility’s buildout of its intelligent grid and its drive to curb carbon emissions by smoothing peak energy demand.

“Saint John Energy is globally recognized for its leadership in smart grid innovation, making it the preferred utility partner for OSO,” said Roy A. Magnussen, CEO of OSO Hotwater Group in Norway, which approached Saint John to undertake the pilot.

The $1.25 million pilot, to begin this spring, will test the OSO smart water heaters while leveraging digital-twin technologies from Norway’s Kongsberg Digital to allow Saint John Energy to predict and manage spikes in energy usage that drive peak demand – demand which leads to increases in carbon emissions along with higher costs for the utility and its customers.

Epos Consulting, also based in Norway, will develop a customized framework for determination of costs and benefits of future-scale deployments as well as verifying project results. Saint John Energy hopes to eventually deploy smart water heaters in customers’ homes across the city.

Findings from the partnership will inform the future of controllable water heaters in Saint John and the benefits and applications of the OSO Charge technology in Saint John and around the world, the companies said.

“Forging these partnerships with innovation leaders in Norway, a country aggressively combatting climate change, is a tremendous opportunity to advance grid technology and consumer products designed for a sustainable future – not only for our community but around the globe,” said Ryan Mitchell, President & CEO of Saint John Energy.

In 2021, the International Smart Grid Action Network named Saint John Energy’s smart grid the top smart grid project in the world. The global recognition came just weeks after Mitchell was named one of Canada’s Clean50 leaders for championing the utility of the future vision for Saint John.