A list of recent and ongoing clean tech projects in Western Canada
This post lists renewable and alternative energy projects that were built, are under constructions or are proposed in Western Canada. As a service provider to the upstream oil and gas industry, we find multiple applications of our skill and technology in clean tech and emerging industries.
Geothermal exploration and development uses the same processes and technologies perfected in oil and natural gas extraction, while producing carbon neutral base-load energy:
- Eavor Technologies: Eavor-Loop systems based on completed Eavor-Lite demonstration project in Rocky Mountain House, AB
- DEEP: Ongoing development with horizontal doublets in Estevan, SK
- Terrapin: Alberta No. 1 project by Grande Prairie, AB
- Borealis Geopower: developments proposed in Valemount, BC and Fort Liard, NWT
- Deh Tai GP: Re-purposing of a depleted gas field for geothermal energy extraction in Fort Nelson, BC
- Epoch Energy: proposed geothermal district heating in Hinton, AB
- Fort Nelson First Nation with Saulteau First Nations re-developing Clarke Lake gas field in North-Eastern British Columbia for Geothermal energy
Several technology and E&P companies research extraction of lithium from reservoir brines:
- E3 Metals: Lithium production from Leduc Formation brine in Central Alberta.
- Prairie Lithium: direct Lithium extraction from brine aquifers in the Williston basin.
- Summit Nanotech: Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology using nanopourous membranes for specific filtration techniques
- Lithiumbank is planning direct extraction from reservoir brines in hotspots of high lithium concentration in Alberta and British Columbia.
- Grounded Lithium Corp, based in Calgary, explores for lithium-rich brines in Western Canada
Blue hydrogen (produced from oil and natural gas, with capture and storage of process CO2) is produced for energy generation, as fuel for heavy transpiration or blended with natural gas for domestic consumption:
- Proton Technologies: clean hydrogen production utilizing oxygen injection and semipermeable filters in existing elevated temperature petroleum reservoirs in West-Central Saskatchewan.
- Spectrum H2: develops solutions for blue hydrogen and carbon sequestration, based in Calgary.
- Suncor and ATCO partner for project to produce 300,000 tonnes per year of clean hydrogen, along with carbon storage. The hydrogen produced would be used in refining, power and steam generation at Suncor Edmonton Refinery, reducing refinery emissions by up to 60%.
- Air Products (with a $1.3 billion investment from federal and provincial government sources) builds hydrogen production plants from natural gas, with CO2 capture and sequestration. Large project to provide hydrogen for transportation and energy generation by 2024.
Carbon sequestration and storage
Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) is the method used to directly offset carbon production from large emitters such as refineries and power plants.
- Alberta carbon trunk line: CO2 captured at the Sturgeon Refinery and the Nutrien Redwater fertilizer plant East of Edmonton is transported hundreds of kilometres and pumped underground in depleted oil reservoirs. Plate capacity is 14.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of capturing CO2 from more than 2 million cars per year.
- Shell Canada Quest Project: captures CO2 from Shell’s Scotford upgrader and transports it 65 km north and stores it in geological formations 2 km underground.
- Whitecap: Carbon dioxide captured from the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, SK and coal gasification projects in North Dakota are liquefied and injected in geological formations near Weyburn, SK for increased production utilizing a CO2 flood.
- Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, MEG Energy Corp. and Suncor Energy to collaborate on net zero emissions target in the Athabasca and Cold lake oil sands region through CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage), clean hydrogen and fuel switching and potential use of small modular nuclear reactors. The ambitious and wide ranging plan, dubbed Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative involves collaboration with federal, provincial and First Nation governments.
- Royal Dutch Shell Polaris CCS project: a planned large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project near Edmonton. In the first phase, the Polaris project will store 750,000 tonnes of carbon a year, captured from the Scotford refinery, chemical plant and upgrading facility, creating up to 2,000 jobs in the process. A second phase is envisioned in Central Alberta, in conjunction with hydrogen infrastructure.
- CarbonAlpha, Vault 44.01 and Enhance Energy provides solutions for carbon capture and storage.
Six new evaluation permits were granted in March of 2022 for proposed projects in the Alberta Industrial Heartland area around Edmonton. Another 19 exploration permits were granted in October of 2022 for projects elsewhere in Alberta.
- Razor Energy, and its geothermal company Futera Power: heat exchange from water co-produced with oil, augmented with heat from natural gas power generation in Swan Hills, Alberta
- Suncor: two co-generation units to replace coke-fired boilers, reducing the greenhouse gas emission by 25%, sulphur dioxide emissions by 45% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 15%.
- Various small scale natural gas generators are used to generate heat for warming along with electricity
Helium is widely used in medical equipment and precision machinery. It is a product of radioactive decay of heavy elements found in the metamorphic basement, and can be found in accumulations at the base of sedimentary basins, often associated with other inert gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide, or in association with natural gas. A global shortage of helium spurred a new wave of exploration in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
- North American Helium develops and refined Helium in Saskatchewan
- Royal Helium are actively developing Helium properties in Saskatchewan,
- Imperial Helium explores and develops Helium properties in Southern Alberta
- First Helium explores for helium in the Peace River Arch area of North-Western Alberta
- Avanti Energy explores for Helium in Alberta and Montana
- Other companies involved in helium exploration are Thor Resources, Weil Group, City of Medicine Hat, Helium Evolution., American Helium, Global Helium, Total Helium.
Chinook offers several services tailored to the renewable energy industry:
- Geological Wellsite Supervision
- Drilling and Completions
- Reservoir studies
- Laboratory services