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Lakeland wins award for innovation

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A local company has won an innovation award for two of its local projects.

Lakeland Holding received the Innovation Excellence Award at an Electricity Distributors Association gala last week, for its SPEEDIER and DEMOCRASI projects. 

The company was judged on concept originality, value, practicality, delivery, measurable impact on  customers and/or businesses, sustainability and applicability, against several other projects. 

Project SPEEDIER, from Lakeland subsidiary Bracebridge Generation, consists of 165 homes in Parry Sound on their own “microgrid,” which is connected to a solar panel array and battery bank, as well as the main power grid. That means they can be “islanded” off the main grid, operating normally while separated from the rest of the area.

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DEMOCRASI uses that infrastructure, and allows the company to manage the power they bid into the provincial power grid.

“This award is an achievement for all Lakeland companies who worked together for over three years creating one of Canada’s most innovative microgrids. Innovation creates so many obstacles with  frustrations, and our incredible staff persevered,” said Chris Litschko, CEO. 

“We have received interest from other municipalities to expand this project into their communities,” said Lakeland COO Vince Kulchycki in a statement. “This is a testament to the overall success of the project and the urgent need to deploy these technologies to meet Canada’s Emissions Reduction plan, announced at the 2022 GLOBE Forum conference.”

In March, Litschko said that expansion is contingent on provincial regulations around net metering being changed. Currently, excess power generated in one place cannot be used to offset another. 

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