DSEA launches new electric vehicle project at Whitby campus

Furthering its commitment to the advancement of state-of-the-art energy initiatives, the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance (DESA) brought together more than 50 government, community and business partners and faculty and students to launch its new Durham-Region based electric vehicle (EV) project at the college’s Whitby campus on Wednesday, November 2.

Durham College president and event master of ceremonies Don Lovisa was joined by David Lindsay, deputy minister of Energy; Michael Kobzar, chair of the DSEA; Rob Lyng, vice-president (A), Sustainable Development, Ontario Power Generation (OPG); and Dr. Richard Marceau, provost and vice-president, Academic, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) as details of the project were revealed. This included the DSEA’s plans for supporting Ontario’s vision to have one in every 20 vehicles powered by electricity by 2020 and the importance of charge station infrastructure and availability in Durham Region.

With all of the DSEA’s project partners on hand, including Camion, Durham College, Intellimeter Canada, LCD Tomorrow Fund; OPG, Oshawa PUC Networks Inc., Siemens, Veridian, Wardrop Engineering Inc., Whitby Hydro, WireIE and UOIT, Kobzar described the project’s intent to install seven EV charge stations in Durham Region in order to facilitate a better understanding of some of the elements of the smart grid; the testing of data collection and Li-on energy storage systems; and the impact that charging EVs at night can have on the grid.

“The energy sector, in particular the strategic move to electric vehicles as part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas  emissions, is growing rapidly in Durham Region, making this an exciting day for the DSEA and everyone involved in this announcement of a new and unique electric vehicle project right in our own backyard,” said Lovisa. “Durham College is proud to play a role in this exciting research project as we work with the DSEA and its partners to install electric vehicle charge stations and energy storage systems right here in Durham Region, enabling us to better understand the many elements of the smart grid including the exploration, testing and impact of plug-in vehicles.

In addition to the project details, the event included the revealing of the college’s new Whitby campus charge station and the opportunity to take a closer look at several different EVs including Durham College’s 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The college purchased it earlier this year as part of its commitment to sustainable practices and renewable energy.

“Research collaborations such as this one play a key role in Durham College’s ability to meet the industry need for applied research that is important to the local community, Ontario and ultimately Canada while providing opportunities for our students to gain real-world research experience,” added Lovisa.