MaRS client Blue Heron Systems partners with Centennial College and launches product at OCE Discovery ‘11

Toronto, May 18, 2011 — MaRS cleantech client Blue Heron Systems Ltd. has partnered with Centennial College to further develop its innovative, intelligent controller for small (<500W) renewable energy systems. Blue Heron hopes to soon see strong adoption by the street-lighting and security markets, which are ripe for transformation to off-grid clean energy.

Traditional street lighting relies on an electrical grid to supply energy through cables. This electrical distribution system represents a significant portion of the total cost of grid infrastructure and is prone to disruptions. The Blue Heron Systems solution offers local “point of use” power in the form of solar- and wind-generated energy. The advent of Light Emitting Diode (LED) street-lamp technology reduces power load and increases the life of these technologies. Blue Heron ensures optimum system performance with predictable outcomes at a lower cost.

With the help of Centennial College Energy Institute faculty researchers, a number of students from the Energy Systems Engineering Technician program and funding from the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), test simulations permitted a better understanding of the impacts of system design changes without having to resort to costly physical prototypes and lengthy environmental testing.

“Accurately modelling the solar and wind profiles of potential installation locations around the world has been critical in the development and delivery of our technology,” says John Tuerk, Founder and Vice-President of Blue Heron Systems. “Centennial’s applied research program has assisted in all aspects of the business, from engineering through to market research, and has allowed us to enter the market quickly and more effectively.”

The simulations prove that grid-independent street lighting is physically and economically feasible in southern Ontario. Results are now being used towards building a physical prototype and beginning a test phase, recently funded through a $50,000 FedDev grant. Testing will take place at Centennial’s Progress Campus in Scarborough throughout 2011.

Blue Heron Systems will launch at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery ‘11 trade show in Toronto on May 18 and 19.

About Blue Heron Systems

Blue Heron Systems develops hybrid solar/wind hardware and software technologies for off-grid and grid-tie applications in the streetlight/residential lighting, security and telecom markets. By providing self-healing mesh networking coupled with an intelligent cloud-based management platform, Blue Heron ensures optimum system performance with predictable outcomes at a lower cost. For more information, please visit

Media contact:
Mark Windrim, VP Marketing, Mobile & Cloud Technologies, Blue Heron Systems

About the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Centennial College

Centennial College has a proven track record of successful industry partnerships by helping enterprises take their concepts to the next level. Centennial’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) connects industry with college faculty, students and resources to find real-world solutions to pragmatic problems. The focus is on small to mid-sized industry partners, assisting in the development, testing and commercialization of their innovative ideas. For more information, please visit

Media contact:
Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College
416-289-5000, ext. 7142

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District ( is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs in life sciences and health care, information, communications and entertainment technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose businesses.

Media contact:
Vanessa Caldwell, MaRS Discovery District
416.63.8200 x2240