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Past Winner
2021 NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation

Synergy Award for Innovation

Bala Venkatesh

Synergy Award for Innovation

Category: Large Company

Toronto Metropolitan University
Toronto Hydro

Dr. Bala Venkatesh is a leading expert in electric power systems, including transmission and distribution systems, renewables, energy storage and smart grids. He is the founding academic director and head of the Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Toronto Metropolitan University. For over a decade, Venkatesh and his team have been collaborators with Toronto Hydro, working together to develop leading-edge research into practical solutions for challenges facing the energy sector.

With nearly half of Ontarians now living in the Greater Toronto Area, providing reliable electricity is becoming increasingly complex. Venkatesh’s team is helping Toronto Hydro build a smarter, more flexible and more resilient energy grid that integrates distributed local, renewable power generation and harnesses cutting-edge energy storage technologies.

The CUE has carried out over 70 projects and supported 53 start-up companies that are creatively responding to the emerging challenges of the energy sector. The collaboration with Venkatesh and his team has enabled Toronto Hydro to complete projects directly affecting company priorities, build a network of research and professional collaborators, and support the advanced training of the next generation of energy sector innovators through mentorship and teaching.

Their partnership is also improving reliability and mobilizing a shift toward a greener Canadian energy sector while influencing policy development and strategic planning worldwide. In the areas of energy storage and microgrids, this pairing is laying the path to energy security and a zero-carbon energy future.

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