Environment researchers collaborate with electricity companies

Friday, December 4, 2015
Ian Rowlands

On Friday, 20 November, the leadership teams – senior management and board members – of Cambridge North Dumfries Hydro, Guelph Hydro, Kitchener Wilmot Hydro and Waterloo North Hydro gathered for a half-day workshop in Cambridge, Ontario to examine the future of local distribution companies. 

Catalysed and organized by Professor Ian Rowlands and PhD student Dane Labonté, the morning brought together 45 participants to hear insights regarding the transformation of electricity systems in our communities and to discuss the same.

After introducing the session, Rowlands invited Labonté to the podium to speak about the survey of workshop participants he had conducted. He identified the range of perspectives that existed among audience members. This was followed by a keynote presentation by Paul Murphy (Advanced Energy Centre, MaRS); a question-and-answer period ensued. Following a networking break, an interactive panel with two chief executive officers, one chief operating officer and one board chair was held. 

Panelists responded to a series of questions from Rowlands and also answered questions from the floor. Words of thanks and brief comments about next steps by Rowlands concluded the morning.

A summary of the workshop will be available in due course. Support for it was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). For more information, about this particular workshop, contact Ian Rowlands (irowlands@uwaterloo.ca). For more about the broader project as a whole see Sustainable Energy Policy in the Faculty of Environment and learn more about their work Unlocking the Potential of Smart Grids: A Partnership to Explore Policy Dimensions

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Left to right (above): Dane Labonté (UW), Ian Rowlands (UW), Paul Murphy (MaRS), Jerry Van Ooteghem (Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro), Ian Miles (Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro), Kazi Marouf (Guelph Hydro), Glen Wright (Waterloo North Hydro), Rene Gatien (Waterloo North Hydro).

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Left to right (above): Panellists Kazi Marouf (Guelph Hydro), Ian Miles (Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro), Jerry Van Ooteghem (Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro), Glen Wright (Waterloo North Hydro).

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Above: Rene Gatien (Waterloo North Hydro, right) puts a question to Paul Murphy (MaRS, left); Ian Rowlands moderates (UW, centre).

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Above:  Keynote speaker Paul Murphy (MaRS)