Sixteen shovel-ready projects will share $176 million in funding to accelerate Alberta’s economic recovery while supporting environmental sustainability. The projects were selected by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) through its Shovel-Ready Challenge. They represent a total investment of more than $2 billion in public and private funding.

Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, and Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, announced the finalists of the Shovel-Ready Challenge with ERA CEO, Steve MacDonald, on Monday, November 1, 2021.

This is the largest funding announcement ever made through ERA. These technology innovations have the potential to deliver cumulative GHG reductions of 6.8 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030—equal to eliminating emissions from the electricity used by 4.5 million homes—with an average annual emissions reduction of 1 million tonnes. It is anticipated these projects will also create approximately 5,600 new jobs.

In total, $126 million of stimulus funding is being sourced from the carbon price paid by large emitters in Alberta through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. The remaining $50 million will be supported by the federal Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF).

Shovel-Ready Challenge funding will help implement leading-edge technologies in applications for both greenfield and brownfield operations. Work will commence within 60 days of funding approval and outcomes must include commercial demonstration or deployment of technologies in operational environments. Projects were split amongst three categories: five projects from oil and gas, six representing low carbon energy, and five in bioindustry and waste-to-value.


Oil and gas
H2nanO Incorporated
Sunlight Powered GHG Treatment for Oil Sands Tailings Pond

Project value: $6,600,000 | ERA commitment: $3,300,000

ConocoPhillips Canada
Surmont Steam-Additives Pilot

Project value: $28,200,000 | ERA commitment: $7,400,000

Canadian Natural Resources Limited
In-pit Extraction Process Demonstration

Project value: $99,700,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

Suncor Energy Inc.
Suncor PURE Demonstration Facility

Project value: $52,500,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

Linde Canada
LNG Low Carbon Fuels Demonstration Project

Project value: $37,500,000 | ERA commitment: $14,900,000

Low carbon energy
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
CP Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Project value: $33,200,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

Elemental Energy Renewables Inc.
Chappice Lake Solar Storage

Project value: $40,300,000 | ERA commitment: $10,000,000

Air Products Canada Ltd
New Edmonton Blue Hydrogen Hub

Project value: $1,269,000,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

City of Edmonton
Alberta Zero Emissions Hydrogen Transit (AZEHT)

Project value: $9,900,000 | ERA commitment: $4,600,000

Turning Point Generation
Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project

Project value: $200,000,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

ATCO Electric
Northern Alberta Community Diesel Reduction

Project value: $5,400,000 | ERA commitment: $2,500,000

Bioindustry and waste-to-value
Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd.
MPR Fibre Procurement Project

Project value: $75,100,000 | ERA commitment: $7,500,000

Calgary Aggregate Recycling Inc.
Calgary Aggregate Recycling Soil Reuse Facility Expansion

Project value: $17,600,000 | ERA commitment: $8,800,000

Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited
Lehigh Edmonton Alternative Low Carbon Fuel Project

Project value: $23,400,000 | ERA commitment: $11,700,000

Lafarge Canada Inc.
Landfill Fly Ash Beneficiation 

Project value: $48,700,000 | ERA commitment: $15,000,000

Capital Power Corporation
Genesee Carbon Conversion Centre (Phase 1)

ERA commitment: $15,000,000

Funding will be distributed on a milestone basis and the progress of each project is reported on until completion. 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.

Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. A team of experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and greenhouse gas quantification conducted an independent, rigorous, transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor. ERA’s Board of Directors made the final funding decision based on the recommendation of these experts.

Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Shovel-Ready Challenge is a funding opportunity provides vital financial support to companies ready to implement leading-edge technologies in applications for both greenfield and brownfield operations. This will result in operational efficiencies, cost and emissions reductions, new investment, job creation and retention, and address longer-term environmental sustainability priorities. Successful applicants were eligible for up to $15 million with a minimum request of $2 million. New projects and projects at early stages of execution that have been initiated but stalled due to the current economic situation were eligible to apply.

Applications were open for all categories of applicants with shovel-ready projects, including industry associations, industry operators, entrepreneurs, technology providers, municipalities, and others. Partnerships between technology developers and industry operators are encouraged to apply. Projects may involve components outside of Alberta, but all demonstration and deployment activities must occur in the province.

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Areas of interest for the Shovel-Ready Challenge include, but are not limited to:

  • Low-carbon products (e.g. materials, chemicals, fuels, secondary products)
  • Novel processes for energy production, processing, petrochemical manufacturing, etc.
  • Waste-to-value and waste energy utilization
  • Novel low-emitting electricity generation
  • Low-carbon industrial heat
  • Digital optimization and automation
  • Carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS)
  • Methane emissions management (from fossil and biological sources)
  • Optimization of agriculture and forestry operations
  • Enhancement of natural GHG sinks
  • Novel fuel-switching opportunities (e.g. electrification, hydrogen, renewable fuels, etc.)
  • Mobility and transportation solutions (e.g. industrial, freight, rail, aviation).

Expressions of interest were invited for innovation to the stages of field piloting, commercial demonstration, or first-of-kind commercial implementation, as described below:

  • Field Pilot: At this stage the technology or innovation is ready to be field tested in an operational environment. Projects in this category include scale up of prototypes to representative pilot scale and subsequent in-field testing of pilot units.
  • Commercial Demonstration: At this stage of development, the technology or innovation is approaching the final commercial product and representative systems have been built. Projects in this category include demonstration of near- or fully-commercial scale systems in an operational environment.
  • First-of-Kind Commercial Implementation: At this stage, the technology is ready for first-of-kind commercial deployment. Projects in this category will involve design, construction, and operation of the technology in its final commercial form, with the intent to operate the technology for its full commercial life.

The Technology Innovation Emissions Reduction (TIER) regulation is at the core of emissions management in Alberta. TIER implements Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing and emissions trading system. TIER is an improved system to help industrial facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to stay competitive and save money.

The Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides $1.4 billion to provinces and territories to reduce carbon pollution and help Canada exceed its 2030 climate target. The funding recognizes the key role provinces and territories play in addressing climate change, and it supports their efforts to reduce emissions, encourage innovation, save money, and create jobs and healthier communities.