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Alberta

Big boost for energy companies working on emission reduction innovations

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From the Province of Alberta

In October 2019, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) launched the Natural Gas Challenge and invited technology developers to share project concepts for innovation opportunities in Alberta’s natural gas industry.

Alberta’s government is providing $58 million through ERA to support this opportunity to create jobs in the natural gas sector.

Funding recipients include a project that uses artificial intelligence to locate and measure methane emissions, and a project to produce renewable natural gas from biogas at an agricultural facility that will be the first of its kind in Alberta.

The 20 new projects have the potential to reduce a cumulative one million tonnes of emissions by 2030 – the same as taking about 750,000 cars off Alberta’s roads. These projects will also get Albertans back to work by creating more than 750 new jobs when they are needed most.

“Alberta is already a leader when it comes to our environmental footprint, and our ongoing work with Emissions Reduction Alberta will help us become even better.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. Experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and greenhouse gas quantification reviewed 117 submissions and chose projects based on the strongest potential for success.

“With Alberta’s 300-year supply of affordable natural gas, a technically skilled workforce and world-class environmentally responsible facilities, there is tremendous opportunity for Alberta to compete with international markets. Funding opportunities like this, in partnership with Emissions Reduction Alberta, are critical to attracting investments that will grow Alberta’s economy by reducing upfront costs, while reducing our province’s share of global emissions.”

Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity

Government funds ERA through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system. TIER is an improved system to help energy-intensive facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive and save money. Facilities can pay into a TIER Fund, which is used for innovative and cleaner Alberta-based projects like those selected under the Natural Gas Challenge.

ERA’s funding model requires that every dollar committed to an initiative is matched or exceeded by additional investments, which ensures there is a market demand for the technology. Government’s $58-million investment through ERA has been more than doubled by private and public investment to stimulate the economy, lower emissions and create jobs, leading to a total of $155 million in funding.

“Investing in the next wave of technological advancements will help Canada’s natural gas industry achieve new efficiencies, reduce costs, and continue to drive world-leading environmental performance.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

A complete list of the successful Natural Gas Challenge projects can be found here.

“We are grateful for ERA’s support to help fund Canadian Natural’s ALT-FEMP project. By working together, we will develop and pilot technologies that can be adopted across the industry to enable early detection of methane emissions through cost-effective methods, ultimately accelerating industry’s reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Joy Romero, vice-president of technology and innovation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited

“This project is an important first step for Alberta, which has all the ingredients to be a leader in the hydrogen economy – including the ability to produce a near zero-emission hydrogen at a lower cost than most jurisdictions in the world.”

George Lidgett, executive vice-president and general manager, Canadian Utilities Inc.

Quick facts

  • In 2018, Alberta produced almost 70 per cent of the marketable natural gas in Canada.
  • ERA works with government, industry and innovators to support technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Since 2009, ERA has committed $607 million in funds from industrial carbon pricing toward 183 projects worth $4.1 billion that are reducing emissions, keeping industries competitive, and leading to new investment opportunities.
  • These 183 projects are estimated to deliver cumulative reductions of 34.8 million tonnes of emissions by 2030.

If successful, these technology innovations will lead to cumulative GHG reductions of almost one million tonnes of CO2e by 2030—equivalent to the GHG emissions from 750,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year. It is anticipated these projects will also deliver approximately 760 new jobs.

Funding is being sourced from the carbon price paid by Large Final Emitters in Alberta through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

The following projects were selected for funding:

UPSTREAM PROJECTS:

MultiSensor Canada Inc.
Methane Imaging Solution for Continuous Leak Detection and Quantification for Tank Emissions and Facility Monitoring
Total project value: $3,200,000 | ERA commitment: $1,600,000
Permanent installation and demonstration of an infrared camera at 100 well sites to provide continuous leak detection and quantification for tank emissions and facility monitoring.

Qube Technologies
Emissions Reductions Through Artificial Intelligence
Total project value: $16,200,000 | ERA commitment: $4,000,000
Deployment of an industrial device designed to collect large quantities of data to use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to better quantify, locate, and classify emissions.

University of Calgary:
Field-Scale Deployment and Acceleration of Made-In-Alberta Technology for Fugitive Emissions Detection and Reduction
Total project value: $3,200,000 | ERA commitment: $1,600,000
Full-scale, field pilot of a new vehicle-based technology designed for equipment-level emissions screening to support effective regulatory leak detection and repair.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Fugitive Emissions Study Using Aerial Detection Technology
Total project value: $1,900,000 | ERA commitment: $930,000
Pilot project of both aerial screening technology and ground-based detection at conventional oil and gas facilities to validate technology performance and inform a broader Alternative Fugitive Emissions Management Program (FEMP).

Challenger Technical Services
Multi Component Downhole Injection System
Total project value: $2,600,000 | ERA commitment: $1,000,000
Development, testing, and validation of a multicomponent downhole injection system that uses epoxy resins to rapidly seal leaking oil and gas wells and eliminate surface casing vent flow.

Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC)
Affordable Zero-Emission Fail-Safe Electric Dump Valve Actuator (EDVA) Phase 2
Total project value: $2,200,000| ERA commitment: $550,000
Applied research, prototype design and development, and field pilot testing of an electrically-driven valve actuator that is more compact, powerful, and lower maintenance than alternative pneumatic options.

Kinitics Automation Limited
Valve Actuator for Gas Producers
Total project value: $1,100,000 | ERA commitment: $550,000
Testing a novel electric actuator at 15 well sites in Alberta to validate the technology as a cost effective, technically viable alternative to eliminate venting from established pneumatic devices.

Westgen Technologies Inc
Unlocking EPOD Economic Zero Bleed Pneumatic Instrument Air Retrofit Solution
Total project value: $4,000,000 | ERA commitment: $1,300,000
Demonstration of a solar-hybrid power generation system for remote well sites to provide reliable electricity to prevent gas venting from pneumatic devices in a cost-effective manner.

Modern Wellbore Solutions
Demonstration of a Full-Scale Multilateral Junction Assembly
Total project value: $12,100,000 | ERA commitment: $3,500,000
Full-scale deployment of a multilateral junction tool assembly that will allow natural gas operators to drill, complete, and operate multi-branched wells for unconventional reservoirs. The technology reduces emissions by enabling lateral junctions rather than requiring separate wells.

Tourmaline Oil Corp.
Natural Gas Mobile Unit for Drilling Rig Power Generation
Total project value: $8,000,000 | ERA commitment: $3,200,000
Pilot demonstration of a plug and play, mobile power generation system for drilling rigs that uses smart energy to automatically start and stop generators to match the power demand of the rig.

DOWNSTREAM AND VALUE-ADDED PROJECTS:

ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.
Fort Saskatchewan Hydrogen Blending
Total project value: $5,700,000 | ERA commitment: $2,800,000
Pilot project to test hydrogen blending in ATCO’s Fort Saskatchewan natural gas distribution system. The project will source and test equipment and determine applicability of existing codes, standards, and legislation.

Ekona Power Inc.
Development and Field Testing of a Tri-Generation Pyrolysis (TGP) System for Low-cost, Clean Hydrogen Production
Total project value: $13,800,000 | ERA commitment: $5,000,000
Prototyping a new approach to converting natural gas to hydrogen and a solid carbon by-product representing a new pathway to produce zero-emissions hydrogen, electricity, and other products by decarbonizing natural gas.

Standing Wave Reformers Inc.
A New Wave in Hydrogen Production
Total project value: $8,200,000 | ERA commitment: $3,000,000
Design optimization, system integration, pilot demonstration, techno-economic analysis, and advancement of commercial deployment plans for a technology system to decarbonize natural gas.

ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.
ATCO and Future Fuel RNG
Total project value: $15,900,000 | ERA commitment: $7,900,000
First-of-its-kind commercial demonstration to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) to be sold and used within the province in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fleet vehicles and commercial applications.

Sustainitech Inc.
Co-Locating Natural Gas and Indoor Agriculture for Alberta’s Future
Total project value: $17,900,000 | ERA commitment: $5,000,000
Design, construction, and operation for a first-of-kind commercial deployment of a modular farming system that combines automation, hydroponics, adsorption cooling, and advanced lighting to grow crops.

Enersion Inc.
Greenest Natural Gas-Powered Quad-generation with a 41% GHG Reduction
Total project value: $3,800,000 | ERA commitment: $1,800,000
Technology that uses natural gas to generate electricity, cooling, and heating in an integrated package for multiple applications, including industrial, agricultural, commercial, and residential sectors

Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc.
Demonstration of Thermally Driven Heat Pumps for Residential Heating Applications
Total project value: $2,000,000 | ERA commitment: $990,000
Design and prototyping of technology that uses natural gas to drive a heat pump cycle. Unlike electrically-driven heat pumps, the technology is ideal for cold climates.

Anax Power
Turboexpander Project
Total project value: $6,200,000 | ERA commitment: $2,400,000
Installation and operation of technology that provides clean, distributed electricity from the pressure and flow of natural gas without combustion.

Innovative Fuel Systems
Advanced Dual-Fuel System Commercial Demonstration
Total project value: $2,800,000 | ERA commitment: $1,200,000
Commercial validation of technology that allows heavy duty truck engines to displace up to 50 per cent of their diesel with cleaner burning natural gas.

Converting Landfill Gas to Renewable Natural Gas
Total project value: $25,000,000 | ERA commitment: $10,000,000
The project will explore opportunities to upgrade landfill gas (LFG) at Clover Bar Landfill and inject it into Alberta’s natural gas system as renewable natural gas (RNG). Stakeholders in the Clover Bar Landfill, the City of Edmonton and Capital Power, are exploring these possible opportunities.

All recipients are required to produce a final outcomes report that will be shared publicly for the broader benefit of Alberta. All projects involve field piloting, demonstration, or commercial deployment of technology within the province.

Click the links below for more details on ERA’s Natural Gas Challenge:

WHY TARGET THE NATURAL GAS VALUE CHAIN?
Natural gas is a critical resource, providing heat and power for Alberta’s residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. It is the least GHG emitting of traditional fossil fuels, and a global shift toward natural gas from coal- and oil‑based resources is underway.

Canada is the fourth largest natural gas producer in the world, with net exports totaling $6.1 billion in 2018. Alberta produces almost 70 per cent of the marketable natural gas in the country. In 2017, the province emitted 35 million tonnes of CO2e from natural gas production and processing. A significant opportunity exists to improve cost competitiveness along Alberta’s natural gas value chain and reduce GHG emissions.

The Government of Alberta is committed to revitalizing Alberta’s natural gas sector. The province is developing and implementing a robust strategy with key recommendations from the 2018 Roadmap to Recovery Report, a document advising the government on reviving Alberta’s natural gas industry.

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Alberta

WHL Roundup: Oliver, Guenther each score pair of goals as Oil Kings defeat Hurricanes

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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Dylan Guenther and Kaid Oliver each scored two goals in a 7-2 Edmonton Oil Kings win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Oliver also had two assists to cap off his four-point night while Guenther added an assist to his tally. Liam Keeler, Scott Atkinson and Jalen Luypen also scored for Edmonton (2-0-0-0). 

Sebastian Cossa made 17 saves between the pipes for Edmonton.

Justin Hall scored both goals for Lethbridge (0-2-0-0). Goaltender Bryan Thomson allowed all seven goals while making only 30 saves. 

TIGERS 7 REBELS 2

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers had seven different goal scorers hit the back of the net in a 7-2 demolishing of the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night at home. Garin Bjorklund made 19 saves for Medicine Hat while Red Deer goaltenders Ethan Anders and Byron Fancy combined for 26 saves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.

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Alberta

No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

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EDMONTON — Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist, Jack Campbell made 30 saves for his third career shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Saturday in the opener of a three-game set.

William Nylander, Jason Spezza and Zach Hyman also scored for Toronto (16-4-2), which was without NHL goal leader Auston Matthews because of a wrist injury. John Tavares added two assists as the Leafs stretched their lead atop the North Division to six points over the Oilers.

Mike Smith stopped 25 shots as Edmonton (14-9-0) saw its five-game winning streak come to an end after Toronto held Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who sit first and second in the league’s scoring race, at bay on a frustrating night for the home side in the Alberta capital.

The teams continue their series Monday and Wednesday back at Rogers Place.

Matthews tops the NHL with 18 goals in 20 games — he sat out for a second time against the Oilers in 2021 because of that wrist issue — and entered play tied for third in points with 31 points behind McDavid (40) and Draisaitl (34).

The Leafs did get some reinforcements with the return of Campbell, who missed more than a month with a leg injury suffered Jan. 24, while winger Joe Thornton (lower body) and top-4 defenceman Jake Muzzin (facial fracture) also suited up after both sat out Toronto’s last two games.

Leafs No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen, meanwhile, remains day-to-day with a lower-body ailment that pressed third-stringer Michael Hutchison into action twice earlier this week with Campbell still working his way back.

Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe elected to put Tavares in Matthews’ spot between Marner and Thornton with the team’s best player and top centre out. The Leafs, who opened a road trip that will see them play five games in eight nights, also defeated Edmonton 4-2 in Toronto on Jan. 22 without Matthews.

After both teams had a couple of good chances to open the scoring early, the Leafs got on the board at 14:37 of the first period on the game’s first power play. Marner showed great patience circling behind Smith’s net before finding Nylander, who buried his eighth of the season. It was also the Swede’s third in two games on the heels of scoring both goals in Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames, as Toronto snapped an 0-for-12 stretch on the man advantage.

Pointless in his last two games coming into Saturday, Marner then turned finisher just 1:13 later when he took a pass from Tavares in transition and fired a shot through Smith for his 10th.

Both goalies were busy before the Leafs broke through, with Campbell denying McDavid off the rush and Smith thwarting Alexander Barabanov on his doorstep in tight.

Spezza made it 3-0 at 11:15 of the second on a vintage sequence from a player nicknamed “Vintage” by teammates. The 37-year-old forward took a pass from Jimmy Vesey coming down the right side, faked a slapshot that had Smith swimming in his crease before firing his fifth shortside on the 38-year-old netminder, who entered a perfect 6-0-0 with a .944 save percentage this season.

Edmonton, which was on 11-2-0 run after starting the season 3-6-0 to get within four points of Toronto, came close to getting that one back moments later, but Draisaitl’s pass to Josh Archibald was redirected off Campbell’s crossbar by Leafs centre Alexander Kerfoot before the netminder shut the door on the follow.

The Oilers pushed midway through the third, but Campbell turned aside a point shot from Caleb Jones before Gaetan Haas failed to control the rebound.

Hyman, who missed two of the Leafs’ last four games with a foot injury, then iced by roofing his fifth upstairs on Smith at 13:34 as the visitors picked up their first shutout of the season.

Edmonton’s power play came in ranked seventh in the NHL after going 6 for 14 over its last three games, but failed to get a single opportunity as Toronto didn’t allow a man-advantage chance against for the first time since Nov. 27, 2019.

The Leafs and Oilers split their four previous meetings this season, although Toronto picked up an extra point in Edmonton’s 4-3 overtime victory on Jan. 30.

Notes: Spezza’s goal was the 952nd point of his career, tying him with Rick Tocchet for 102nd on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. … Vesey’s assist was his first point in 13 games. … The Leafs assigned winger Alex Galchenyuk, who was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 15, to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021.

___

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