Microgrid system | YMCA of Greater Toronto Area

Renewable Energy & Microgrid Design
About This Project

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is working to increase community resiliency and protect vulnerable populations. The YMCA recognizes its important role in supporting and enhancing community resilience and has developed its own Resiliency Strategy to guide this effort. As part of the climate resiliency strategy, and to fulfill its Strategic Plan and Roadmap to 2020, the YMCA of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is looking to create Community Resilience Centres (CRCs). The CRCs will allow the YMCA Centres to generate their own electricity on-site and continue to support the community even if the electricity grid is compromised in an emergency. This will be accomplished by installing high-efficiency combined heat and power energy systems. The YMCA will also integrate other resilience-building and low-carbon microgrid measures including solar panels, battery energy storage systems, electric vehicle chargers, advanced controls, and backup generators.

IESC designed a microgrid system for a number of buildings to include:

  • Solar energy generation (solar PV, or solar thermal depending on the site)
  • Battery energy storage system
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Advanced smart grid controls

The design team is performing the following tasks:

  • Investigate the implementation of microgrid systems at YMCA sites and understand the challenges that might be needed to overcome
  • Complete preliminary engineering work in order to size major pieces of equipment and work with the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and backup Natural Gas (NG) generator contractors.
  • Develop performance criteria that will provide the needed assurance that Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) organizations will deliver a robust and long-term functional system, but at the same time provide some flexibility ensure costs are as efficient as possible
  • Assist in preparing RFP documents for engineering, procurement, and construction contract to implement the systems

Ensure that there is a successful project that will demonstrate to others the opportunities and benefits for a resilient building in communities and the potential with microgrid technology.

Projected Benefits:

  • Development of Community Resilience Centre (CRC’s) for emergency respite situations
  • Backup energy generation in the case of the grid outage
  • On-site energy storage for resiliency in the case of failed generation equipment
  • Multiple backup systems to ensure power can be provided even in the most extreme disasters
  • Contribute to the electrification of Toronto’s transportation system and of Toronto Electric Mobility Strategy


  • Renewable energy design
  • Scenario analysis
  • Energy modelling
  • Electrical design
  • Multi-system controller design
  • Battery storage evaluation
  • Electric charging station infrastructure analysis and design

Project Customer:

YMCA of Greater Toronto Area

Project Location:

Greater Toronto Area, ON