Advancing Renewable Energy Integration on PEI - PEI-002

Preferred Disciplines: Mechanical/electrical/systems engineering; 2 MSc student, 1 PhD student 
Project length: 2-3 years for PhD position, 12-24 months for each Masters position
Desired start date: May 2018, September 2018, January 2019 
Location: Charlottetown, PEI
No. of Positions: 3 (1 PhD, 2 Masters)
Preferences: The research group is based at the University of Prince Edward Island. Research leads are Drs. Andrew Swingler and Matthew Hall.
Company: PEI Energy Corporation

About Company:


In Prince Edward Island, the PEI Energy Corporation is responsible to develop and promote the development of energy systems and the generation, production, transmission and distribution of energy in all its forms on an economic and efficient basis, to provide financial assistance for the development, installation and use of energy systems, and to coordinate programs in the establishment and application of energy systems in the province.

Project Description:

PEI is a leader in wind power, meeting over a third of its electric energy demand through on-Island wind farms. Further increasing renewable energy is a priority of the PEI Energy Corporation, but challenges associated with intermittency of the already-high wind penetration need to be overcome. As such, PEI is a forward-looking microcosm for other regions wanting to harness renewable energy and increase energy independence.

This project will develop a detailed techno-economic model of the Prince Edward Island electricity system and apply this framework to identify the best paths forward for increasing renewable energy integration on the island. In exploring alternative pathways, the analysis will address key issues such as combining complementary renewable resources (e.g. wind and solar power), using emerging energy storage technologies, harnessing flexible loads for demand response, and coordinating electrical vehicle charging and vehicle-to-grid discharging.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Develop a detailed energy flow model of PEI’s electricity system, including both current attributes and possible future scenarios
  • Apply the model to identify the most promising paths forward for renewable energy integration
  • Subproject 1: explore a range of renewable energy integration scenarios, including increased renewable energy generation and deployment of energy storage technologies
  • Subproject 2: assess existing and foreseeable demand response and thermal energy storage potentials in PEI, considering both the available load flexibility in PEI and the strategies and technologies needed to utilize it
  • Subproject 3: analyse the rising role that electric vehicles will play in the energy system, predicting the impacts of EV growth on energy demand in the current system structure and exploring strategies and technologies that could be applied to leverage the batteries in EVs to bring additional storage capacity to the grid



Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Familiarity with renewable energy technologies and energy system elements
  • Experience with computer programming and/or simulation e.g. Matlab
  • Ideal candidates will have experience in numerical modelling, energy storage, optimization, or operations research


For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Complete this webform. You will be asked to upload your CV. Remember to indicate the title of the project(s) you are interested in and obtain your professor’s approval to proceed!