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Andrea Kraj, University of Saskatchewan: Community Renewable Energy in Remote Regions and Cold Climates
The integration of renewable energy in the energy supply mix has become widely recognized as just as important as the reduction of Green House Gases (GHGs), the negative effects of society’s dependence on fossil fuels, and peak oil issues have gained significant attention. In locations that are not connected to the main electricity grid, such as remote communities, the dependence on one source for energy supply does not prove reliable enough when the renewable resource, such as wind or solar, is variable. Furthermore, communities located in remote locations must rely on expensive imported foreign fuel for basic energy needs, often already impoverished by lack of local employment and a weaker economy. Unlike grid-connected communities, remote communities cannot rely on the grid as an equivalent storage system when power production and loads do not match; instead, they rely on stored diesel fuel to operate generators. The decrease in the reliance of diesel generation is of their best interest for long-term sustainability. Coordinating more than one renewable resource to be available in addition to the backup diesel system is necessary to support the critical loads in a remote community. This research investigates the application of icing mitigation methods for wind turbines in cold climates in a multi-renewable energy framework to enhance the power supply of remote locations impacted by cold climate conditions, to stabilize the electricity supply through complimentary combinations of energy supply and leverage resources to attain the most economical solution.