Clean technology projects receive $43M in SDTC's largest funding round
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has approved in principle a total investment of $43.4 million in 15 new clean technology projects. The SDTC's sixth round of funding is its largest to date and will support projects demonstrating strong potential for environmental, social and economic benefits. Examples include the development and demonstration of energy-efficient, low-cost solid-state lighting; on-demand insulation to reduce energy use in transparent structures such as greenhouses; and small-scale electricity generation from tidal power. A number of the projects are the first ever of their type.
Reflecting their solid prospects to deliver both environmental and commercial benefits, other private and public sector consortia partners are investing an additional $116 million in the 15 projects. This represents almost a 3:1 ratio of industry-partner contribution to SDTC investment.
The technologies are targeted to the power generation, energy utilization, transportation, agriculture and forestry, and waste management sectors. Demonstration of the technologies will be carried out in five provinces. With this new investment, SDTC is on track to allocate all of its funds equitably up to December 2010.
SDTC chairman James Stanford noted that "each of the projects is subjected to an exhaustive review process and must be represented by a consortium of organizations rather than a single company. These requirements improve the opportunities for successful technology demonstration and strengthen their market readiness."
Since April 2002, SDTC has committed $132 million to 61 clean technology projects and leveraged $347 million from project consortia members. It currently manages $479 million in projects and will be issuing its next call for Statements of Interest (SOIs) on August 24, 2005.
The upcoming call for SOIs will include, for the first time, a request for projects with technologies to address water and soil quality issues as well as climate change and clean air. This reflects the expanded mandate given to SDTC in the 2004 federal budget.
"This larger role endorses sustainable development as a comprehensive goal focusing on the protection and efficient use of the world's natural capital - air, land and water - each of which is linked to the other," said SDTC presidenet and CEO Vicky Sharpe.
As an arm's length, not-for-profit corporation, SDTC fills the void in the innovation chain between research and commercialization, helping clean technology developers move through the development and demonstration phases in preparation for commercialization. SDTC applies a stringent due diligence process when selecting technologies to support and requires all applicants to involve a consortia of partners in their projects.
Several of the latest SDTC-funded projects are outlined below.
Lead Organization: Angstrom Power, North Vancouver, BC
Consortium members: the city of Vancouver, Urban Search and Rescue, Canada Task Force 1 HTEC (Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corp), Powertech Labs, The BOC Group, University of Victoria, Vancouver Airport Authority
Sector: power generation
Angstrom Power will demonstrate and test hydrogen fuel cell-powered portable electronic devices, including lights and chargers, in remote field operations without access to the electricity grid. The devices will be coupled with a portable, centralized hydrogen refueling system. The technology has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will be the first major deployment of portable fuel cell devices in Canada, and one of the world's first demonstrations of integrated, end-to-end micro-hydrogen technology. Micro-hydrogen can recharge faster than battery-based devices for portable power and offers better operating characteristics and less maintenance. Emission-free, the technology also has significant greenhouse gas reduction potential. The project will also contribute to developing safety certifications for the technology.
Lead Organization: Clean Current Power Systems, Vancouver, BC
Consortium members: AMEC Americas, AMEC Dynamic Structures, EnCana Environmental Innovation Fund, Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific, Ocean Works International, Powertech Labs, Triton Consultants
Sector: power generation
Canada's first free-stream tidal power project will be installed at Race Rocks, a British Columbia ecological reserve located ten nautical miles southwest of Victoria, BC. The Pearson College-EnCana-Clean Current tidal power demonstration project will enable the marine park to convert tidal energy to electric power-replacing power supplied to the island by two diesel generators-beginning in early 2006. The multi-year demonstration project will involve the installation, operation and monitoring of a 65-kilowatt (kW) free-stream tidal turbine generator. It will be the first sustained field testing of a new electricity-generating technology in this harsh marine environment.
Lead Organization: Electrovaya, Mississauga, Ont
Consortium members: SouthWestern Energy, Unicell
Electrovaya plans to develop and demonstrate its patented Lithium Ion SuperPolymer(r) battery system for zero-emission battery electric vehicles, principally in vehicle fleet applications. The exceptionally high energy density of Electrovaya's battery technology provides a clean, long-range transportation alternative.
Lead Organization: Group IV Semiconductor, Ottawa, Ont
Consortium members: Business Development Bank of Canada, Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (NRC), Carleton University Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University Faculty of Engineering
Sector: energy utilization
Group IV Semiconductor will develop and demonstrate a new line of energy-saving, solid-state lighting products. The project builds on an advanced silicon thin-film process which will make solid-state lighting accessible to the mass market for the first time. Solid-state lighting offers much higher energy efficiency than conventional light bulbs, reducing energy consumption by as much as 80%. The project goal is to develop a light bulb whose performance and price would facilitate widespread adoption and allow the full energy savings potential of the technology to be realized.
Lead Organization: NORAM Engineering and Constructors, Vancouver, BC
Consortium members: PAPRICAN (Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada), Tembec Industries
Sector: energy utilization
NORAM will develop and demonstrate the first full-scale implementation of a new approach to creating a closed-loop kraft pulp mill. Tembec's mill at Skookumchuck, BC will play host to the first phase of the program, which involves progressively closing the mill's water consumption and effluent loop. The project will demonstrate the viability of technologies which: reduce greenhouse gas emissions through chemical recycling and increased use of biomass as a fuel; reduce demand for water; and reduce waste effluent. Other benefits include the recovery of valuable chemical, energy and fibre components from waste streams.
Lead Organization: Prairie Pulp and Paper, Winnipeg, Man
Consortium members: Bannatyne Financial, Manitoba Straw Producers Co-op, the Manitoba government, SNC Lavalin Engineering
Sector: agriculture and forestry
The consortium led by Prairie Pulp and Paper will explore the viability of producing high-quality paper products from 100% agricultural materials, using an innovative, agricultural fibre pulping process. The technology could enable the re-use of otherwise discarded agricultural residues, which in turn would help offset the demands on Canadian forests. The project will develop, test and evaluate the process for producing "tree-free" 8.5" x 11" sheet paper for use in computer printers, fax machines and photocopiers.
Lead Organization: SAIC Canada, Ottawa, Ont
Consortium members: ATCO Gas, the city of Medicine Hat, Enerworks, IF Technology International, Sterling Homes, the town of Okotoks, United Communities
Sector: energy utilization
This project would be the first one of its kind in North America utilizing underground thermal energy storage (UTES) technology integrated with a solar thermal energy application. The consortium will develop and demonstrate high-temperature UTES. The concept of UTES is simple: store the energy (cold or heat) underground when it is available and use it when the stored cold or heat is needed in the next season. This is a new and innovative concept in the Canadian energy market.
Lead Organization: Sunarc of Canada, Montreal, Que
Consortium members: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre, Quebec's Energy Efficiency Fund (Fonds en efficacitÈ ÈnergÈtique), Les Industries Harnois, Les Jardiniers du Chef and two additional Quebec greenhouse growers, Laval University's Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food
Sector: energy utilization
Through this project, Sunarc of Canada aims to further develop its on-demand insulation systems for transparent structures such as greenhouses. These systems reduce by 50% the use of fossil fuels for heating in greenhouses and other solar-receptive buildings. They can be installed in both new and existing greenhouses. In advancing its technology, Sunarc will conduct demonstration projects with growers in Quebec and Ontario. Sunarc L-Foam(tm) is inserted automatically when required between two layers of translucent plastic film forming the covering of the structure. When in place, the foam dramatically increases insulation values by ten-fold or more (R15-20). As the foam collapses and returns to liquid state, it is recovered and re-used.
Lead Organization: Terra Gaia, Vancouver, BC
Consortium members: Bateman Engineering, Enpower, Norambar (Stelco)
Sector: waste management
Terra Gaia will demonstrate a patented technology for eliminating the steel industry's two main types of hazardous waste: electric arc furnace dust and waste hydrochloric acid. Current, costly disposal practices for these wastes are energy-intensive, emit greenhouse gases and expose the industry to significant environmental liabilities. Terra Gaia's low-pressure, low-temperature process is cost-competitive, produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions and yields saleable byproducts, providing additional revenue streams.