The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that two major Canadian investments announced Friday have refocused attention on electricity distribution.
The Globe's Jameson Berkow writes that the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan said Friday it will pay $2.4-billion for a 25-per-cent interest in SSEN Transmission, which delivers hydroelectric power from northern Scotland to the rest of Britain. The deal represents the pension plan's largest-ever power distribution investment.
Separately on Friday, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced they have committed $135-million each in financing for Markham District Energy, which provides centralized heating and cooling for 230 buildings north of Toronto.
Together, the deals indicate a growing level of investor interest in the basic infrastructure required to decarbonize electrical and utility grids around the world. Simon Fraser University's Clean Energy Canada program manager Evan Pivnick says, "A lot of the attention gets put on the wind turbines, batteries, and solar, but what doesn't get much attention is how much the energy grid itself fundamentally has to change to support a new renewable-based energy system."
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