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Energy Innovation Program Smart Grid Demonstration Call for Proposals


Status: Closed

Demonstration Focus Area

The Demonstration Focus Area will provide support to projects which demonstrate innovation in smart grid technologies/solutions, and market or contract mechanisms (innovations may be jurisdiction specific). Specifically, the objectives of this focus area are to:

  • Accelerate grid modernization to better utilize the capacity of existing electricity assets; increase the reliability, resiliency, and flexibility of the power system; and increase the penetration of distributed energy resources.
  • Improve customer accessibility of grid-integrated solutions which provide more affordable energy and lower total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Sufficiently represent a given electric system to meaningfully inform future deployment considerations.
  • Address well-defined market gaps with a proposal to build business solutions.
  • Advance inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in the electricity sector.

Mandatory criteria:

  • Involve the electricity distribution system
  • Share knowledge and insights to enhance public awareness


Demonstration projects must address technological or market challenges by validating and deploying pre-commercial technologies and/or market concepts. Projects as a whole should aim for Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of between 5 and 8.

The call is open to the following eligible Canadians:

  1. Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada including:
    • For profit and not-for-profit organizations;
    • Community groups; and
    • Canadian academic institutions.
  2. Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies, where applicable.
  3. Indigenous
    • Indigenous communities or governments;
    • Tribal Councils or entities that fulfill a similar function (e.g., general councils);
    • National and regional councils, and tribal organizations;
    • Indigenous (majority owned and controlled by Indigenous people) for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

For the purposes of this Applicant Guide, the term “Indigenous” is understood to include Inuit, Métis, First Nation, Status Indian and non-Status Indian individuals, or any combination thereof.

It is expected that the proponent, i.e., the entity that will sign a contribution agreement with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), will be the majority owner of any assets purchased in full or in part through funding provided by NRCan.


Program funding for this call is open to projects that request between $500,000 and $6,000,000 (comprising up to 50% of total project costs).

Maximum Contribution Percentage
(% of Total Project Cost)
Minimum Contribution Maximum Contribution Project Life
50% $500,000 $6,000,000 4 years

The Energy Innovation Program provides non-repayable contributions for projects.

IMPORTANT: Details on eligibility and funding can be found in the Applicant Guide. Applicants are encouraged to download and read through the guide to determine eligibility.

How to apply

The call’s project selection process has two phases:

  • Expression of interest (EOI) phase, open to all eligible applicants
  • Full project proposal (FPP) phase, open to invited applicants only

To apply, applicants must complete and submit their EOI via the Applicant Portal by 11:59 a.m. EST on January 10, 2024.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they meet the eligibility criteria and that their EOI is fully completed and successfully submitted by the deadline.


NRCan reserves the right to apply the following additional criteria when selecting projects at the EOI and FPP stages:

  • Projects that support departmental priorities such as regional balance in Canada and socio-economic considerations.

Information Sessions

Recordings now available! Virtual information sessions were hosted in early December 2023 to offer guidance on the application process and provide an avenue for interested applicants to ask questions in a live Q&A format.

View recording

Next steps and timelines

The following timelines are anticipated for the call. NRCan, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to modify these anticipated timelines.

Steps Dates
Open for EOI Applications October 30, 2023
Deadline for EOI Applications January 10, 2024
11:59 a.m. EST
Notification of EOI Results Winter/Spring 2024
Deadline for FPP Submissions Spring 2024
Project Selection/Notification Spring/Summer 2024
Due Diligence Fall/Winter 2024
Negotiation and Signing of Contribution Agreements Winter 2024/2025

Need help? Contact us

For any questions regarding the call, please contact NRCan at During regular operations, NRCan will strive to respond within two business days.

For technical support with the Applicant Portal, please contact

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