Natural Resources Canada

Power Forward Challenge

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Seven (7) finalist teams were selected from a group of 44 project proposals received in the main proposal intake of the Challenge in March 2019. Along with seven (7) other Semi-Finalist teams, they all pitched their solutions to a panel of expert judges representing grid operators, corporates, investors, and governments at two pitch events held in Glasgow in May 2019 and in Ottawa in early June 2019.

A total of $9 million / £6 million is available for finalists in each country. Each finalist team is made up of Canadian and U.K. partners and is eligible to receive up to $3 million / £1.8 million to start building its smart energy systems solution.

Here are the finalist teams developing projects in Canada:

London Hydro
with Electron, ENMAX, University of Western Ontario, Navigant, Gowling WLG

Project L2L (London Ontario to London UK)

Lakeland Holding Inc.
with Opus One Solutions, Kiwi Power, Ryerson University, Georgian College, CHEC Group

Project DEMOCRASI: Dispatchable Energy Market Optimized Constraint Real-time Aggregated System Interface

Equilibrium Engineering
with StorTera, Dalhousie University, Berwick Municipal Electric Commission

Project Alba Nova: A Smart Grid Pilot Using Advanced Battery Storage

Here are the finalist teams developing projects in the U.K.:

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks
with Opus One Solutions, Hydro Ottawa, Open Grid Systems, University of Cambridge, Energy Policy Research Group

Project Merlin

UNIT9 Ltd.
with Integrated Environmental Solutions, Boost Energy Ventures, Utilismart, Energy Systems Catapult, Skanska, University College London Energy Institute, Sheffield University

Project Energy Open Piazza

Qbots Ltd.
with ICONICS Canada, Lanner (LEI) Canada Ltd., Energy Systems Catapult, Bruntwood Energy Services Ltd., Manchester Metropolitan University, Hildebrand Technology Ltd., Penso Power Ltd., Dunsky Energy Consulting

Project Energy-IQ

Scene Connect Ltd.
with Enbala, Locogen Ltd., Mentone Energy Consulting Ltd.

Project Cloud ZUoS

SME Financial Support Recipients

Top 10 Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises

In January 2019, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) awarded financial support to a select group of small and medium-sized enterprises who had submitted preliminary proposals outlining plans to develop innovative, consortium-based smart grid solutions that bring together Canadian and UK innovators. The Canadian recipients of this support ranked as the top 10 among 70 applicants, in what was a highly competitive process.

Here are the ten (10) Canadian recipients who each received a $CAN100,000 grant to further develop their consortium team and project proposal in order to compete in the Challenge:

Sustainable Oceans Applied Research Ltd. (NS)

Demonstration of disruptive end-to-end coastal community clean power system


EV charging DC microgrid powered by a transactive energy platform

Rainforest Automation (BC)

Virtual Power Plant using residential “smart home” technology

Enbala Canada Inc (BC)

Virtual Power Plant and advanced hydrolyzer storage

SWTCH E-Car Inc (ON)

EV charging, distributed energy resources aggregation and transactive energy

ReWatt Power (AB)

Incentive-driven integrated EV management

WizGrid Inc (QC)

Full-scale validation of Power Management System on a microgrid

Equilibrium Engineering (NS)

AI-based renewable energy storage platform

Utilismart Corporation (ON)

Advanced distributions management system

Quanta Technology (ON)

Mobile energy storage system and community energy systems


See the UK successful recipients selected by BEIS here.

Challenge details

Who can apply?

Canadian and UK:

  • Small and medium sized businesses
  • Other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Indigenous organizations and groups
  • Post secondary/academic institutions

Key dates

  • Call for proposals: October 16, 2018
  • Deadline to apply for SME financial support: December 17, 2018
  • Deadline to submit proposals: March 15, 2019
  • Finalists announced: June 20, 2019
  • Deadline for demonstration projects and final submissions: October 1, 2021
  • Final award winner announced: by Spring 2022


  • A total of $1 million/£600,000 in each country will be given to eligible teams in need of financial support who have the most promising project vision.
  • The six top teams will win $3 million/£1.8 million each to start building their proposed pilot project.
  • $1 million will be given to the team with the best pilot demonstration.