Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada has an important role to play in the development of new solar energy technologies. Before a new technology can be adopted on a commercial and industrial scale, companies need to prove that it works in the real world. This means bridging the metaphorical “Valley of Death,” the point in the innovation process where as many as 80% of new technologies fail.
Finding a partner to help bridge the Valley of Death is notoriously difficult, and the onus for finding a test site for new technology falls back on the company developing it.
Medicine Hat is one of the few jurisdictions in the world that is able to fill that role thanks to a city-owned utility with smart metering technology, a stable municipal government, some of Canada’s best solar resources, and federal and provincial innovation grants.
If all goes according to plan, Alberta is set to replace thousands of megawatts of coal power with renewable energy over the next 15 years. To achieve that goal, companies are going to have to develop and commercialize innovative new technologies. Medicine Hat is ready to help innovative companies move their technology from the academic to commercial world, thus bridging the Valley of Death.