In February 2021, oil giants bp and Chevron, along with a number of other notable groups announced their decision to back Calgary-based geothermal company Eavor Technologies Inc. through a $40 million funding round. Since then, discussions regarding the pivot away from oil and gas into renewables have captured national interest. Is this a sign the shift is officially underway?
Eavor Technologies is a local geothermal tech company making international waves in the global renewable energy arena. By revolutionizing the approach to geothermal energy, Eavor’s technology has eradicated several of the costly, inefficient measures associated with traditional geothermal. Without experiencing the limitations of traditional geothermal, nor being subject to intermittency issues associated with wind and solar, Eavor’s solution is one the world sorely needs.
Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer recently commended Eavor in an address discussing ongoing economic diversification in Alberta, noting private sector investment in provincial geothermal wells. “Eavor Technologies of Calgary has raised significant money for this, and plans to produce enough geothermal power to heat thousands of homes over the next decade,” said Schweitzer.
In light of recent developments in the oil and gas industry, Eavor’s ongoing mission to harness the Earth’s geothermal potential to provide reliable, scalable, baseload power for millions of homes in the coming years has taken on a new key component.
Following the announcement, Eavor has taken several steps to further invest in academia in Alberta through the launch of an ongoing educational campaign aimed at engaging Alberta youth in the future of renewable energy in the province and across the nation. As a local, cutting edge technology company on a mission to positively change the world, Eavor recognizes the importance of encouraging the bright members of the young generation to ask questions and actively participate in the ongoing changes occurring in the energy industry.
“Eavor has developed a unique renewable energy solution by applying established or proven technologies in an innovative and creative way,” says Bailey Schwarz, Lead Engineer for Eavor. “Educating and engaging the next generation will encourage creative thinking and problem solving in the energy sector that will keep building on these innovations in every sector.”
Earlier this month, Eavor Technologies Inc. announced a multi-year research and development partnership with the University of Calgary Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) valued at almost $1 million.
This partnership will focus on building on existing Alberta drilling technology to effectively further applications for geothermal exploration and development, while educating the public and creating new jobs for Albertans.
Engaging young adults at the university level is a key part of Eavor’s investment in geothermal education and development in Alberta, however, it doesn’t end there.
On March 10, 2021, team members from Calgary tech company Eavor Technologies Inc. visited Bearspaw Christian School in northwest Calgary to present their cutting-edge closed loop geothermal technology to the 10th grade science classes.
The presentation was led by Eavor’s Lead Engineer Bailey Schwarz, Senior Business Development Leader Neil Ethier and Chief Business Development Officer, Paul Cairns.
The team introduced Eavor’s mission, discussed the differing forms of renewable energy and explained the Eavor-Loop in relation to traditional geothermal. Bailey Schwarz then covered thermodynamics before introducing Eavor-Lite, Eavor’s successful, third party validated demonstration project located in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.
“The presentations went really well,” says Schwarz, “I was really impressed with the interest the students showed and the challenging questions they asked our team.”
The presentation to Bearspaw Christian School is part of Eavor’s ongoing educational outreach campaign designed to get the younger generation excited about ongoing developments in the field of renewable energy. As future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, the bright students in Mr. Dallas Peterson’s 10th grade science class were captivated by Eavor’s presentation. They kept the team on their toes by asking endless questions to better understand the Eavor-Loop technology. “We were all really impressed by all the questions,” says Paul Cairns, CBDO of Eavor, “we really want to encourage these young kids to think differently.”
Cairns closed the presentation by introducing a two-part Eavor Challenge. Part one is an opportunity for students to further explore Eavor’s global geothermal energy potential by determining the best possible location for a future Eavor-Loop. They were given a curated list of potential locations, which need to be ranked according to feasibility based on geological, economical, and socio-political factors – this list includes Mars.
Eavor has partnered with Bearspaw Christian School to continue the challenge into the next school year, when a science research option being offered by Mr. Peterson will give students the chance to explore Eavor in extreme depth.
“I hope they come away from this experience excited for the future, and feeling that they will have an important part to play,” says Mr. Peterson, Bearspaw Secondary Science teacher, “I believe we need to foster the conversation with our youth surrounding the question, ‘in what ways could we envision energy alternatives?’ It’s so important to instill a hope for the future.”
To encourage creativity alongside education, Eavor will be awarding an Oculus Quest Virtual Reality Headset, pre-loaded with the Eavor-Lite Virtual Tour, to one student from each semester who exceeds the challenge.
Eavor prides itself on being at the forefront of renewable energy development in Alberta, and investment and education for Alberta’s youth and young adults is a crucial step in ensuring a successful, prosperous future for the province. Students in grade school, high school, university and graduate school all have an important part to play in furthering provincial and national goals surrounding the pivot towards renewable energy.
“Investing in our youth is investing in our future,” says Paul Cairns, Chief Business Development Officer for Eavor Technologies. Eavor is proud to play a part in getting the next generation of Alberta youth excited and engaged in renewable technology, and geothermal energy development.
University of Calgary Positions
The University of Calgary is hiring several positions for its multi-year R&D project with Eavor Technologies.
- Research Associate in Drilling Operations, Drilling Performance Optimization, Data Analytics, Drilling Modelling and Control. M.Sc. in engineering required, industry experience and/or Ph.D. preferred.
- Postdoctoral Fellow in Drilling Mechanics, Bit-Rock interaction Modelling and Non-Linear System Dynamics and Control. A recent Ph.D. in engineering required.
- Three Ph.D. Research Assistantships in:
1) Hydraulic percussion hammer modelling
2) Physics-informed data-driven model development
3) Estimation techniques for digital twinning
To apply, please send your CV, Cover Letter, and a Writing Sample to Roman Shor at email@example.com
Eavor’s virtual tour and link to the Oculus Quest App can be experienced here: https://eavor.com/eavor-lite-virtual-tour
For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.
Running Reins Ranch in Red Deer County picks up $250,000 grant from province
Running Reins Ranch partners with members of the local Indigenous community to set-up teepee accommodations and host regular cultural programming for guests.
Tourism investment fuels growth in rural Alberta
Alberta’s government continues to support regional tourism opportunities across the province, generating jobs and new tourism destinations for locals and visitors alike.
Ahead of World Tourism Day 2023, Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow visited Running Reins Ranch to see first-hand how tourism investment grants are making a difference in the lives of Albertans.
“Alberta’s government is proud to invest in growing visitor destinations like Running Reins Ranch that celebrate the richness and diversity of Alberta’s rural destinations and provide a sustainable tourism experience for visitors to enjoy.”
As part of the Tourism Investment Program, Running Reins Ranch received a $250,000 grant from Travel Alberta.
“Our investment will support the building of additional unique accommodations at the ranch that will triple their capacity, emphasize their year-round offerings and create five new full-time jobs. This investment in Running Reins Ranch is a perfect example of how Travel Alberta is driving tourism growth in rural communities across the province.”
Running Reins is located east of Innisfail, offering cabin and teepee accommodations and a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors looking to combine the beauty of the Prairies with farm experiences for a one-of-a-kind getaway.
Right to Left: Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow, Owners of Running Reins Ranch Terry and Janice Scott, and team member Grace Finlan.
“This funding is a game-changer for us and our business. We are excited to bring our vision to life and provide visitors with unforgettable experiences while supporting the economic growth of the surrounding community.”
Tourism is Alberta’s No. 1 service export sector. In 2019, Alberta welcomed 34.6 million visitors, generating $10.1 billion in expenditures and supporting more than 80,000 full-time jobs. The Tourism Investment Program is Travel Alberta’s commitment to investing $15 million annually with communities and operators to develop the province’s tourism sector. Developing Alberta’s rural and agri-tourism sector is an essential component of the government’s efforts to grow Alberta’s tourism economy to more than $20 billion by 2035.
- In 2022-23, Travel Alberta funded 166 projects across 73 communities – about 75 per cent of the projects and 70 per cent of the funding were in smaller urban and rural areas of the province.
- In December 2022, Alberta’s government released its Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan, with supporting initiatives that demonstrate the government’s commitment to building healthy and prosperous communities across rural Alberta and Indigenous communities.
Company at centre of E. coli outbreak at Calgary daycares faces licensing charges
Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange speaks to the media about an E. coli outbreak linked to multiple Calgary daycares in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Colette Derworiz in Calgary
The company that runs a commercial kitchen at the centre of an E. coli outbreak that has infected hundreds at numerous Calgary daycares has been charged with operating without a business licence.
The City of Calgary announced Wednesday that Fueling Minds Inc. and its two directors face a total of 12 charges under municipal business bylaws and face a total fine of up to $120,000.
The company declined to comment on the charges in an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Alberta chief medical officer Dr. Mark Joffe said the number of cases has plateaued at 351, and tests and interviews indicate the cause of the outbreak was meat loaf and vegan loaf.
He said there are also 37 confirmed secondary cases and four children remain in hospital.
Fueling Minds provided meals to six of its own daycares that were affected by the outbreak, which was declared Sept. 4, and also to five separate daycares.
The city alleges Fueling Minds did not have the proper licence to serve those other five.
Joffe said the investigation into the cause of the outbreak included interviews with hundreds of parents and daycare staffers and the testing of 44 food samples.
“We believe that meat loaf and vegan loaf meals that were served for lunch on Aug. 29 most likely contained the E. coli bacteria that led to these infections,” said Joffe.
“Unfortunately, neither of these items could be tested as they were either eaten or discarded before this outbreak was identified.
“While we now have a likely source, what we do not know exactly is what was contaminated or how.”
The company’s statement said the “exact source of the infections has not yet been identified” and it continues to work with Alberta Health Services on its ongoing investigation.
Joffe said the province is to hire a third party to verify its work and findings.
Premier Danielle Smith said former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson would lead a panel to investigate what went wrong and make recommendations on how to make commercially prepared food safer in daycares.
Smith said the panel does not have a set timeline, but she expects to hear from him monthly and would implement interim recommendations if necessary rather than wait for the final report.
“Mr. Hanson will be joined by Alberta parents, childcare operators, food service operators, and food safety and public health experts,” said Smith.
“The panel will be examining all aspects of this tragic situation, large and small, as well as taking a full broader look at the legislation and regulations that govern food safety in our province.”
Smith said she met with parents of affected children, and a policy change they suggested was posting kitchen health inspection reports in a daycare rather than just online.
Health Minister Adriana LaGrange and Searle Turton, minister for children and family services, are already reviewing food handling in commercial daycare kitchens.
The kitchen remains closed and in recent months has been flagged for numerous health violations, including food transportation concerns.
Diana Batten, the Opposition NDP critic for childcare and child and family services, said Wednesday’s developments were a good start to getting answers.
“This will really help some of the families I’m speaking with,” she told reporters.
“However, it brings up or illustrates there’s a lot of problems inside the system. We heard Premier Smith talk about how we should trust now that the system is safe. Why? We continue to identify more concerns.”
Batten said a panel isn’t going to help solve those problems.
“It’s just spending more money and, honestly, putting a Band-Aid on what is honestly a huge public health crisis.”
The province has promised parents affected by the closures in the original 11 daycares a one-time payment of $2,000 per child to cover off financial hardship. Those facilities were closed Sept. 4 but have since reopened.
Eight more daycares faced closures or partial closures in the days that followed as secondary cases were identified.
Smith said last week that the compensation program would only be available to parents of the 11 daycares at the root of the outbreak.
Turton, however, confirmed parents affected by the later closures would also be eligible for the one-time payments, and that was the plan all along.
“The program hasn’t expanded,” said Turton.
“It’s important to note that just more daycares since the original announcement have actually become eligible for those payments.”
— With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 27, 2023.
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