Press Release: CanREA’s summer Operations Summit shines a spotlight on flexibility issues

Canada’s wind, solar and energy-storage site operators focused on the theme of ‘flexibility by design’ at an intensive CanREA event.

Ottawa, June 22, 2021 – The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) today concluded a one-day-only, summer version of the Operations Summit, shining a spotlight on the flexible management of Canada’s wind, solar and energy-storage sites.

A very focused group of wind, solar and energy-storage operators, manufacturers, construction teams, researchers, government and supply-chain professionals attended the event, eager to discuss the key factors that will influence their rapidly changing work over the next decade.

“This event took place at a critical moment in time, as the renewable-energy industry prepares to ramp up to deliver on the kind of progress that will be needed to meet Canada’s climate targets as well as satisfy growing consumer demand,” said event organizer Phil McKay, CanREA’s Senior Director of Operations. “Flexibility will be the key.”

The event began with inspirational remarks by Chris Henderson, Executive Director of Indigenous Clean Energy, who told real-world stories of renewable-energy partnerships with Indigenous communities that demonstrated how a flexible mindset can deliver unexpected benefits.

CanREA also presented four core technical sessions, covering advanced grid operations, multi-tech workforce considerations, flexible site design and recycling.

Event highlights also included an informative panel with the American Clean Power Association who, like CanREA, also formed a new organization in the past year by combining wind, solar, and energy-storage technologies.

“As the day progressed, each of our speakers led us further down this fascinating pathway, inspiring us to think flexibly and look to the future,” said McKay.

“Flexibility creates unique opportunity but also potential challenges,” said Jen Aitchison, Senior Vice President of Renewable Energy in Canada at Marsh, who also serves as a member of the CanREA Board and the Operations Caucus Steering Committee. “Staying connected and having open dialogue is the best way to solve challenges we face today in operations, especially in a remote environment.”

By developing innovative solutions and best practices for the wind, solar and energy-storage industry, CanREA keeps Canada at the leading edge of global standards for health and safety, workforce development, grid integration, supply-chain logistics, data management, sustainability, accountability and the responsible recycling of obsolete technologies.

“The groundwork we do now, through CanREA, aims to secure a seamless energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2050 that will provide benefits for generations,” Aitchison added.

A special thank you to Goldwind Americas and Vestas for supporting the event as Program Session Partners, and to the Event Supporters, EDF Renewables and Electricity Human Resources Canada.

The video recordings are now available on-demand. Please visit the event webpage for more information

Quotes

“This event took place at a critical moment in time, as the renewable-energy industry prepares to ramp up to deliver on the kind of progress that will be needed to meet Canada’s climate targets as well as satisfy growing consumer demand. Flexibility will be the key.”

“As the day progressed, each of our speakers led us further down this fascinating pathway, inspiring us to think flexibly and look to the future.”

—Phil McKay, CanREA’s Senior Director, Operations

“Flexibility creates unique opportunity but also potential challenges. Staying connected and having open dialogue is the best way to solve challenges we face today in operations, especially in a remote environment.”

“The groundwork we do now, through CanREA, aims to secure a seamless energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2050 that will provide benefits for generations.”

—Jen Aitchison, Marsh’s SVP Renewable Energy in Canada, CanREA Board member, CanREA Operations Caucus Steering Committee member.

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About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our vision is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter. Become a member. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Bridget Wayland, Communications Director
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
613-227-5378
[email protected]

Photos

PHOTO: Phil McKay (CanREA’s Senior Director, Operations), on right, and CanREA Board member Jen Aitchison (Marsh’s SVP, Renewable Energy Canada), on left, opened CanREA’s Operations Summit: Summer Solstice event on June 22 with a discussion of specific challenges and opportunities affecting the renewable-energy operations sector
PHOTO: In his opening remarks, Chris Henderson (Executive Director, Indigenous Clean Power) provided valuable insights on partnering with Indigenous communities on renewable-energy projects. 
PHOTO: In the “Making New Associations” session, panelists discussed the opportunities and challenges of launching a new multi-technology association. Clockwise from top left: Gerrud Wallaert (RWE Renewables Americas LLC), Michele Mihelic (American Clean Power Association), Jen Aitchison (Marsh), Phil McKay (Canadian Renewable Energy Association).