Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre officially opens

May 25, 2018

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Friday, May 25, 2018 – InnoTech Alberta, an applied research subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, today announced the official opening of the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC).

InnoTech Alberta is the owner and operator of this pioneering clean technology centre. Users of the ACCTC will test and advance carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and conversion technologies that assist in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, by enabling the conversion of CO2 into commercially viable, value-added products.

The centre, located adjacent to the Shepard Energy Centre in Calgary, provides innovators with the ability to test and refine their technologies using flue gas emissions from the natural gas-fired power plant. The Shepard Energy Centre, jointly owned by ENMAX Corporation and Capital Power Corporation, is Alberta’s largest natural gas-fuelled power facility.

The first tenants of the ACCTC will be five finalist teams from the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition.  The competition incents teams from around the world to develop innovative approaches to convert CO2 emissions from fossil fuels into valuable products. This includes a broad suite of solutions, such as alternative building materials, bioplastics and enhanced carbon derivatives and other chemicals used to manufacture a variety of industrial products and consumer goods.

Following completion of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE in early 2020, the ACCTC will continue as a test centre for new technology development in this area. With its unique capabilities, it is expected to become a global hub for innovators.

Our Government is investing in research, clean technology and innovation. We are proud to support this one-of-a-kind facility that inspires bright minds to develop breakthrough technological solutions to reduce carbon emissions and harness the economic opportunities they present.

The Honourable Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

Our province has always been the place where industry leaders turn challenges into opportunities. This support for innovation and technology is the same type of support that helped Alberta innovators develop SAG-D access to oil sands without excavation or tailings ponds – technology that the rest of the world now relies on. The Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre is another way we are proving Alberta is the energy and environmental leader the world needs for the 21st century.

Hon. Joe Ceci
Alberta President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre is about finding and advancing innovative solutions that help our province achieve a lower-carbon future. By coming together to collaborate and test creative ideas, the impacts and outcomes we generate at this centre will also make Alberta a leader in the emerging sustainability-driven economy.

Laura Kilcrease
Alberta Innovates CEO

We have a world-class resource, we have world-class talent, and now we have a world-class facility right here in Alberta that will help us on our path to finding ways to produce our oil sands with fewer and fewer GHGs. Right next to fulfilling our obligation to address this global challenge, is a great business opportunity – turning one of our biggest liabilities, CO2, into a valuable product. It’s a great feeling to be a part of this group of partners along with these five finalists in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE who are finding ways that we as businesses, governments and as a country can improve how we serve society by finding pathways to a lower carbon future.

Dan Wicklum
Chief Executive, COSIA

“We look forward to the ACCTC becoming a vibrant hub of carbon innovation in Alberta, and in Canada. It’s the type of infrastructure we need to accelerate us on the path to a low-carbon future, and XPRIZE is thrilled to be a part of the journey.”

Dr. Marcius Extavour
Senior Director of Energy and Resources, XPRIZE
and prize lead for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

ENMAX and Capital Power are very proud that Shepard is the site of the ACCTC, and one of the test facilities in this prestigious competition. Innovation is critical to the future of the energy sector, and we embrace this effort towards a cleaner energy future. The technologies tested here will have a positive impact on reducing emissions across many sectors, including the electricity industry.

Gianna Manes
President and CEO, ENMAX Corporation

Project background:

The ACCTC funding partners include: Natural Resources Canada and the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Other partners and collaborators include: Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and the Shepard Energy Centre, a joint venture between ENMAX and Capital Power.

The COSIA sponsorship is funded by seven oil sands companies in the form of a joint industry project led by ConocoPhillips Canada and members Canadian Natural, Cenovus, Devon Canada, Imperial, Nexen and Suncor.

Technologies evaluated at the ACCTC will be applicable to the majority of Alberta’s large CO2 emitters as well as some smaller sources. These have the potential to reduce Alberta’s C02 emissions by up to 50 per cent. These technologies could also be applicable to industries globally, and the semi-commercial testing offered at the ACCTC will accelerate emission reductions across the oil and gas sector, and other industries.

About the collaborators:

InnoTech Alberta, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, was established to facilitate the conversion of applied research to economic, social and environmental benefits for Alberta. InnoTech links basic research and commercial outcomes in accordance with the strategic directions for research and innovation set out by the Government of Alberta. This is achieved by operating laboratories, performing applied research and development, and delivering laboratory services in key areas of strength, in multiple locations within the province for government and industry clients. InnoTech Alberta does not provide funding.

Alberta Innovates is a provincially funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions for the most compelling challenges facing Albertans. We do this by building on our province’s research and technology development strengths in the core sectors of health, environment, energy, and food and fibre, and platforms such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and omics. We are working with our partners to diversify the provincial economy, improve environmental performance and enhance Albertans’ well-being through research and innovation.

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands. COSIA enables collaboration and innovation between thinkers from industry, government, academia and the wider public to improve measurement, accountability and performance in the oil sands across our environmental priority areas of greenhouse gases, land, water and tailings. COSIA members search the world for solutions to our toughest problems. And we have some of the best minds on the planet working on technologies to enable responsible and sustainable development. To date, COSIA has shared 981 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost over $1.4 billion to develop. Visit us at www.cosia.ca.

Capital Power (TSX: CPX) is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, owns, and operates power generation facilities using a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns approximately 4,500 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity at 24 facilities across North America. Approximately 1,000 MW of owned generation capacity is in advanced development in Alberta, North Dakota, and Illinois.

ENMAX through its subsidiaries, generates, distributes and sells electricity to residential, small business and large commercial customers and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with offices also in Edmonton. ENMAX Power Corporation owns and operates transmission and distribution infrastructure in Calgary and ENMAX Energy Corporation owns diverse electricity generation facilities throughout the province. ENMAX Energy is currently the retailer of choice for both The City of Calgary and The City of Edmonton.

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowdsourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org/.

Media inquiries

Dwayne Brunner
Media Relations Manager
Alberta Innovates
587.572.4091
Dwayne.Brunner@albertainnovates.ca