Government of Alberta Investing Nearly $23 Million to Support Advanced Carbon Fibre, Storage, and Energy Efficiency Technologies

EDMONTON, AB – ERA is committing $22.8 million from the Government of Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Fund to eight projects worth $272 million in public and private investments.

This funding will help develop and demonstrate technology solutions that produce carbon fibre from Alberta’s bitumen, demonstrate battery storage at a hydroelectric dam, utilize waste heat to help decarbonize a food processing facility, and advance an emissions-reducing novel oil extraction and upgrading process. The eight projects were approved for funding through ERA’s Partnership Intake Program. Four of the 8 projects are being co-funded by Alberta Innovates.

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, made the announcement alongside ERA’s CEO, Justin Riemer, and Alberta Innovates’ CEO, Laura Kilcrease on Wednesday, December 6, at COP28 in Dubai.

“Alberta is chock-full of industry visionaries eager to bring their amazing emissions-reduction ideas to life, and this funding shows just how aligned our innovation system is when it comes to advancing game-changing technologies that lead to future materials and markets. Alberta is very proud to support these projects, which will help our province maintain a reliable electricity system and create demand for Alberta bitumen.” 

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Alberta Environment and Protected Areas

“It takes more than good ideas to commercialize and deploy new technology solutions that reduce emissions and grow the economy. ERA is pleased to support homegrown technologies that will lead to future materials, energy systems, and markets with funding from the Government of Alberta, and in collaboration with our partners in the innovation ecosystem.” 

Justin Riemer, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta 

“The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge is creating long-term value from Alberta’s bitumen and demonstrates considerable innovation in the energy sector. Alberta Innovates’ drive to add value, along with our partners, is critical to the province’s future. This work will lead to significant economic benefits for all Albertans and industry.”

 Laura Kilcrease, chief executive officer, Alberta Innovates

The following four projects are focused on producing carbon fibre from bitumen and are co-funded with Alberta Innovates through their Carbon Fibre Challenge funding call, part of the Bitumen Beyond Combustion (BBC) initiative:

ERA Funding: $1,280,000 | Total Project Value: $5,080,000
Referred by Alberta Innovates
Producing low-cost and high-value carbon fibres from low-value waste by-products, including oil sands asphaltenes.

Enlighten Innovations Incorporated
ERA Funding: $950,000 | Total Project Value: $3,660,000
Referred by Alberta Innovates
Creating commercial volumes of precursors that can be used to create viable carbon fibres.

Thread Innovations
ERA Funding: $3,000,000 | Total Project Value: $7,950,000
Referred by Alberta Innovates
Demonstrate scalability, viability, and consistency of its proprietary, low-cost, and efficient process for producing carbon fibre using Alberta bitumen in vacuum refinery residue (VRR).

University of British Columbia
ERA Funding: $1,400,000 | Total Project Value: $5,430,000
Referred by Alberta Innovates
Producing carbon fibre materials from asphaltene-based feedstocks extracted from bitumen through processes such as solvent de-asphalting.

Other projects receiving TIER Funds from ERA include:

ERA Funding: $5,000,000 | Total Project Value: $33,575,000
Referred by SDTC
Demonstrate a turnkey, on-site oil extraction and upgrading process that improves operating margins and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

PIP Lethbridge Inc.
ERA Funding: $3,000,000 | Total Project Value: $7,500,000
Referred by Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Irrigation
Implement an innovative Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system at its pilot scale food processing facility to fully decarbonize PIP Lethbridge’s process heat.

ERA Funding: $3,100,000 | Total Project Value: $6,300,000
Approved through Project Re-Entry Program
Establish an Agrivoltaics Research Facility to demonstrate a viable model for cattle based Agrivoltaics in Alberta, the project will co-locate a solar photovoltaics system with cattle grazing pasture to increase land productivity.

ERA Funding: $5,000,000 | Total Project Value: $198,000,000
Referred by NRCan
Procure, install, and operate a battery energy storage system (BESS) co-located at TransAlta’s Ghost Hydroelectric site near Cochrane, Alberta.

If successful, these eight projects are estimated to deliver annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 280 thousand tonnes, cumulative reductions of almost 2 million tonnes by 2030, and 7 million tonnes by 2050. This funding is also expected to create over 788 person-year jobs in Alberta and have a $258 million GDP impact in the province by 2025.  Funding amounts per project range from $950,000 to $5 million.

“CarboMat Inc. has developed an innovative technology to produce high-value carbon fibre from asphaltene. Government of Alberta funding through ERA will accelerate our transition from gram-scale to kilogram-scale carbon fibre production for near-term market entry. CarboMat’s innovative solution will add a significant value to oil sands bitumen, diversify Alberta’s energy industry, and help create a low-carbon circular economy.” 

Dr. Md Golam Kibria, Co-founder and Scientific Director, CarboMat Inc. 

“Global decarbonization will require more widespread use of advanced, lightweight materials such as carbon fibres. This creates an opportunity to transform Alberta into a producer of these high-value materials from low-value oil sands bitumen. Developing the new technologies required to make it happen is an ambitious undertaking. Funding by the Government of Alberta through ERA is crucial to advancing this work.” 

Neil Camarta, Director, Enlighten Innovations

Our carbon fibre manufacturing breakthroughs pave the way for other innovations that can revolutionize electric car production and other manufacturing sectors, with profound implications for both economic growth and carbon emission reduction. Transforming bitumen into carbon fibres signals a new era, boosting Alberta’s economy and driving down carbon emissions.”

Yasmine Abdin, Assistant Professor, The University of British Columbia

“Thread’s proprietary process technology sequesters carbon from bitumen-based combustion supply-chains to produce high-strength, lightweight carbon fibre.  The support of the Government of Alberta, through Emissions Reduction Alberta, is instrumental to Thread as it transitions from demonstration to pre-commercialization scale-up.”

Theo Zunich, Executive Vice President, Thread Innovations

The strategic support from the Government of Alberta and Emissions Reduction Alberta is a pivotal factor in the creation of our Agrivoltaics Research Facility which aims to address the critical challenge of land competition between food and renewable energy production in the province.”

Kelly J. Tallas, Founder and CEO, Solartility Inc.

“Technological innovation is going to enable Canada’s energy sector to compete on a global scale.  Our ISUT™ project, powered by “green chemistry,” is tangible evidence that collaboration between government, private industry, and NanosTech can meet our 2030 climate goals today.” 

Myles McGovern, President and CEO, NanosTech

“The Government of Alberta’s funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta is critical to demonstrating our new thermal innovation that is applicable across many industries. By supporting our decarbonization project we will demonstrate a first of its kind technology in Alberta and Canada.  Together, we will unlock thermal decarbonization options that are desperately needed reach our GHG reduction goals.”

Christine Lewington, CEO, PIP Lethbridge Inc.

The Partnership Intake Program allows ERA to evaluate proposed projects referred by Trusted Partners: organizations with rigorous, fair, and transparent approval processes. The referral-based program gives ERA the chance to consider investing in promising technologies outside its traditional funding channels, allowing for ongoing opportunities to support innovative GHG-reducing projects.

All ERA funding recipients are required to produce a final outcomes report that is shared publicly for the broader benefit of Alberta, as well as other funding proposals. Funding recipients will be required to report on project outcomes, achievements, and lessons learned including GHG reductions, job creation, and other environmental, economic, and social benefits.

For more information contact

Kevin Duncan 
Media Relations, Emissions Reduction Alberta 
Cell: 403-431-2859  


For 14 years, ERA has been investing revenues from the carbon price paid by large emitters to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative clean technology solutions. Since we were established in 2009, we have committed $899 million toward 261 projects worth $8 billion that are helping to reduce GHGs, create competitive industries and are leading to new business opportunities in Alberta. These projects are estimated to deliver cumulative GHG reductions of 42 million tonnes by 2030 and 115 million tonnes by 2050.