ERA’s BEST Challenge Projects

Biotechnology Projects

LanzaTech, Inc.

Carbon Sequestration via Next-Generation Bioreactor Technology
This project will demonstrate our next-generation microbubble bioreactor (MBR) technology, which will maximize the quantity of fuels produced per tonne of wood waste in an integrated biorefinery.

We propose to demonstrate the MBR by producing ethanol from the off-gas of forestry-residue pyrolysis in Alberta, with extended benefits for converting other resources such as industrial waste gases and agricultural residues using LanzaTech’s gas fermentation platform.

This project takes a major step towards creating value from new waste resources, such as gasified agricultural residues, and serving hard-to-decarbonize sectors, such as aviation (jet fuel from ethanol) and consumer goods (materials from fermentation-derived chemicals).

Media contact:
Freya Burton


Shell Canada Energy

Shell Alberta Bioenergy Project
Shell is proposing to collect, resize and process organic wastes, and transport them to a primary anaerobic digestor facility to produce biogas and digestate. The biogas will be upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG), with digestate applied to farm land or converted to fertilizer. The produced RNG will provide clean energy while diverting agricultural waste and manure and avoiding methane emissions, and creating a new outlet for agriculture and livestock sectors in the province.

Media contact:
Shell Canada Media Desk


Sultech Global Innovation Corp.

Production of Micronized Sulphur and formulation of a Sprayable Elemental Sulphur Fertilizer (A Commercial Demonstration Project)
Sultech and its consortium partners are undertaking a project to demonstrate the viability of a proprietary process for micronizing molten elemental sulphur and the formulation of a sprayable sulphur fertilizer and soil amendment (SulgroTM 70), by designing, constructing and commissioning a Commercial Demonstration Plant. The project will include field research and trials to demonstrate SulgroTM 70’s efficacy, seed-safety, and compatibility with conventional application equipment.

Media contact:
Conor Wrafter


Electricity Projects

TransCanada Energy

Saddlebrook Solar and Storage
The proposed project will involve the development, design, construction, commissioning and operation of a novel, utility-scale, solar plus storage electricity generation facility near Aldersyde, Alberta. The project combines innovative bifacial panel solar technology that takes advantage of Alberta’s climactic conditions, with the deployment of flow battery energy storage technology to demonstrate the practicability of firming renewable generation and viability of long duration battery storage in Alberta. This innovative project will provide direct GHG benefits through the generation of emissions-free renewable power. The project will also help prove out the technical and commercial viability of the chosen technologies, thus increasing the potential for wide scale adoption within the Alberta and wider Canadian electricity markets.

Media Contact:
Ana Radu


ENMAX Generation Portfolio Inc.

ENMAX Midstream Industrial Solar and Storage Project
In this project, ENMAX will demonstrate the viability of solar PV and battery storage in industrial applications. On-site renewable electricity generation will be paired with lithium-ion battery storage at Keyera Corporation’s Rimbey gas plant to reduce consumption of grid electricity and smooth out the demand profile of the facility. This is the first large-scale demonstration of solar plus battery storage for midstream energy facilities in Canada, and it has the potential to provide proof-of-concept for similar facilities throughout the province.

Media Contact:
Gina Sutherland


AltaLink Management Ltd.

Whitecourt Transmission Deferral Battery
The Whitecourt Transmission Deferral Battery project involves installing a 20 MW/20 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at the existing Whitecourt substation, minimizing or eliminating the need to build a new transmission line in the area. This project will demonstrate the competitive advantage of energy storage in enabling the growth of Alberta’s low-carbon electricity generation. Potentially saving ratepayers $37 million over the cost of a building new line, this project also reduces the impact on landowners and the land by eliminating the need for new line construction. The knowledge gained from this project will enable future distributed BESSs across the transmission system to be deployed in an efficiently staged and cost-effective approach.

Media Contact:
Bradley Nickel


FortisAlberta Inc.

FortisAlberta Waterton Energy Storage Project
The FortisAlberta Waterton Energy Storage Project will showcase the stacked technical, economic and social benefits of utilizing battery energy storage systems (BESS), solar PV renewable generation and advanced distribution BESS managements systems to address reliability issues faced by customers connected at a location near the end of a long electric distribution feeder. The Town of Waterton is prone to a higher than normal frequency of outages due to its long distance from the nearest substation and the natural terrain in the area. The project will provide islanding capability to the community and provide much needed resiliency for the town and emergency services during outage situations.

Media contact:
Alana Antonelli


Town of Hanna

Hanna Solar Project
The Hanna Solar Project, a 120MW, $162M solar generation private/public partnership, is being targeted for construction in 2020. The revenue from this project would enable the establishment of the Hanna Community Coal Transition Fund, a local economic development and competitive fund which would be directly supported through the municipal portion of the net project revenues.

The Project will generate annual income to the Hanna Community Coal Transition Fund, designed to help the Town of Hanna and its workers transition away from coal and create over 200 construction jobs to directly support the province’s worker retraining program for coal-affected workers.

Media contact:
Mayor Chris Warwick, Town of Hanna


Longspur Developments

Drumheller Solar and Battery Storage Project
The Drumheller Solar Farm and Battery Storage Project comprises a 16.5MWdc ground mounted solar facility combined with a 8MW/8MWh battery storage system connected to the local distribution network managed by ATCO Electric. The project is located on land owned by the Town of Drumheller with limited development opportunities, and so the project will unlock a significant revenue stream to the local community.

Media Contact:
Robbie Donaldson


Natel Energy

Bow River Irrigation District (BRID) Drop 5 Hydro Project
BRIDs Drop 5 is an existing weir with a height of 10 meters that is capable of passing 49 cms of flow. By diverting the flow around the weir and through a powerhouse that utilizes Natel Energy’s hydroEngine® turbine, this project will generate 970 kW of capacity and 2,677 MWh of carbon-free energy annually. This will be the first full-scale installation of this turbine at this power rating. The hydroEngine is also fish-friendly and may be used to support the scaling of watershed ecosystem restoration activities.

Successful demonstration and utilization of the turbine at this site will open the door to a host of additional sites within the BRID canal system as well as other irrigation districts and rivers in the province of Alberta and worldwide.

Media contact:
Ben Ward


Sustainable Transportation Projects

Alberta Newsprint Company

GHG Reduction for Supply Chain Improvements for Oil & Gas Hydraulic Fracturing
The Whitefox Project will create a centralized treated waste water system that will provide shared, high-utilization, integrated water infrastructure to multiple major energy companies near Fox Creek. The pipeline and associated infrastructure will reduce status quo greenhouse gas emissions by >35 per cent and eliminate the equivalent of >2400 Olympic sized pools of freshwater use per year in Alberta’s Energy Sector.

The Whitefox Project will provide a year-round supply of recycled pulp and paper mill effluent to oil and gas producers. The efficiencies will be generated through pipeline transportation of effluent water in lieu of freshwater withdrawal and transportation by trucking, diesel pumping through lay-flat hose, and diesel heating of water.

Protecting industry, environment and jobs, this innovative transportation project will be a first in Canada, co-developed by two Alberta-based companies: Integrated Sustainability – a water infrastructure company based in Calgary, and Alberta Newsprint Company – based near Whitecourt, Alberta.

Media contacts:
Alberta Newsprint Company
Gary Smith

Integrated Sustainability
Trevor Wall


ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd.

First-of-Kind Commercial Deployment and Demonstration of 100 Class 7 and 8 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Commercial Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/ Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Powered Vehicles
ATCO, in conjunction with Clean Energy and Cummins Westport will deploy a first-in-Alberta commercial demonstration of 100 OEM Class 7 and/or 8 commercial tractors, powered by the 2018 Cummins Westport ISX12N Near-Zero engine. These tractors will be supported by two commercial-grade refueling stations in Calgary and run on CNG and/or RNG fuel.

This project is also supported by: Pilot Flying J, the Canadian Gas Association, the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance, SLH Transport Ltd and UPS.

Media contact:
Danielle Brown



Demonstration of Battery-Based Bus Charging Routes
eCAMION is partnering with the City of Edmonton and the Universities of Alberta and Calgary to demonstrate core technology solutions that are required to electrify Alberta’s transit, thus transitioning buses from highly emissive diesel to Alberta’s grid electricity. In the first phase, up to 1.5 MWh of energy storage will be installed at the City of Edmonton’s KATG facility, demonstrating dynamic energy storage aggregation algorithms to predict and provide the necessary power for electric buses.

In the second phase, the project will design and demonstrate a battery-based bus charging station operating with a DC microgrid architecture with applicable use for both depots and on-route charging stations. The bus charging station will also demonstrate a high-density power converter using next-generation semiconductor materials. As part of the project, eCAMION will also develop an Alberta-based Centre of Excellence for technology development, testing and validation, and system manufacturing.

Media contact:
Simon De Vuyst


ENMAX Generation Portfolio Inc.

ENMAX E-Fleet Pilot
ENMAX will pilot electric vehicle technology on two medium-duty trucks within our fleet. This first-in-Canada demonstration will test the technology in the operational environment of a utility and in all weather conditions, including harsh winters. During the pilot, truck capacity and performance, and battery and charging infrastructure performance and usage, will be monitored and analyzed to assess viability and identify any infrastructure barriers to adoption.

Media contact:
Chris McCleave


City of Calgary

Electric Bus On-Route Charging Deployment
The proposed project scope will include the deployment of electric public transit buses (ebuses) and associated on-route rapid-charging infrastructure at 3-4 transit hubs for the City of Calgary.

The objective of this project is to build capacity for Calgary Transit to integrate ebuses into the transit fleet with the objective of meeting Council approved goals related to climate resiliency in a fiscally responsible way.

The lessons learned from the project will be actively shared with Alberta municipalities, transit organizations, and other Canadian municipalities and will complement electric bus demonstration underway across Alberta.

Media Contact:
Arsheel Hirji


Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA)

Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC)
This project will feature the development of two long range fuel cell electric trucks (FCET) for operation between Edmonton and Calgary. These fuel cell hybrid trucks will be powered by Ballard Power Systems next generation, proton exchange membrane fuel cell engine, integrated along with a lithium ion battery pack into a hybrid electric drive by Nordresa, on a Freightliner Class 8 truck platform. The fueling infrastructure for the project will be generated by Praxair Services, Canada Inc. leveraging existing Oil & Gas hydrogen infrastructure and transported under a “drop and swap” model that will move fuel between the Praxair facility and a centralized depot in Edmonton. This project intends to develop and demonstrate a 700-km plus range zero emission truck. These trucks will demonstrate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions based on the improved fuel efficiency of the fuel cell hybrid drivetrain, with a pathway to even greater emissions reductions in the future as carbon is sequestered at the hydrogen generation facility.

The AZETEC project is the first transportation technology project to be conducted in the newly opened 7-acre Phase 1 of the AMTA training and testing facility at the Edmonton International Airport. This facility was built to function as a commercial transportation hub for safety training development and delivery, as well as various research and technology innovation. Phase 2 of the 4 planned stages of this development is currently in the design stage and expands the 5-acre training and testing surface an additional 13 acres. This will allow for a wider range of applied transportation research, testing of new technologies, and advanced driver training.

Media contact:
Aneesha Birk