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Home > About > News > Learn how Alberta is innovating in energy & resources
December 21, 2023
Alberta Innovates supports and highlights innovation across Alberta.
Here are ten highlighted stories of energy and resources innovation from the last few years.
E3 Lithium is a lithium resource and technology company working towards the production of lithium products to power the growing electrical revolution.
Based in Alberta, E3 Lithium’s Clearwater Project is being developed on the backbone of the mature and sophisticated oil industry that will allow the Company to catapult its development.
E3 Lithium’s Direct Lithium Extraction technology obtains over 90 percent recovery and drastically increases the concentration of lithium, while reducing impurities by over 99 percent. Through the successful scale up its technology towards commercialization, E3 Lithium’s goal is to produce high purity, battery grade, lithium products. With a significant lithium resource and innovative technology solutions, E3 Lithium has the potential to deliver lithium to market from one of the best jurisdictions in the world.
As part of E3’s vision for a brighter energy future, they plan to deliver our lithium products with reduced carbon emissions, while utilizing 97 percent less land and consuming no freshwater interaction.
In 2019, Eavor Technologies Inc. showed that made-in-Alberta geothermal technology could transform the way we think about renewable energy. Their demo project used and enhanced existing Alberta oil and gas drilling technology to facilitate a revolutionary energy system known as the Eavor-Loop™.
Eavor’s closed loop technology harnesses the Earth’s natural heat kilometres underground to use at the surface for heating or to generate electricity. While generating geothermal energy is not new, Eavor makes it highly scalable, with the promise of being a significant global renewable energy source.
“The Eavor-Loop™ incorporates the best of our province’s energy technology capabilities and prowess, to provide a new and sustainable opportunity for our world-renowned drilling industry. The net result is a uniquely scalable source of emissions-free baseload power,” says John Redfern, CEO of Eavor Technologies.
Alberta Innovates funded $1 million of the $12 million Eavor-Loop™ project with multiple government and industry partners.
Exergy Solutions is a technology company focused on 3D printing, prototype design and AR/VR visualization and training for Alberta’s energy industry.
Exergy was one of the successful applicants in Alberta Innovates’ Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) competition.
The $200,000 DICE grant enables Exergy to enhance their technology to allow it to respond and interact in real time. Oil and gas operators can, for example, test a system by opening a valve and the virtual reality simulation will respond accurately by showing how the system reacts to the operator input. Operators can use the technology to train and test equipment without the need to travel to remote sites or to train new operators who are in a different part of Alberta.
“Our project is the development of a training simulator which will use Dynamic VR Digital Twin technologies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in operator training in the energy industry.” – Billy Rideout, President
Fort McMurray-based Futuro Energy Renewable Solutions was founded with the goal of helping local industries make the leap to renewable resources. Through solar and wind power technologies, they aim to help businesses cut costs and reduce their environmental impact.
Founded in 2018 by Belarmino (Belar) Carvalho to commercialize a portable solar/wind light tower, the company indicates they’ve demonstrated the following value for clients:
Futuro’s solar/wind light tower is designed for the Alberta climate to replace traditional diesel-powered light towers. The design of their WILL 2000c light tower is ideal for working conditions in the oil sands and construction industries.
Growing Greener Innovations is an energy technology company tackling big energy issues with a small, environmentally friendly power source. Their GRENGINE™ is a decentralized, scalable power system that provides clean, inexpensive, off-grid electricity for homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.
The battery-powered system can also supplement power generation and storage during a power outage.
More than half the world’s population lives with insufficient energy supply. Over 1.2 billion people live by candlelight and more than 2.6 billion people burn biomass for cooking. For a family living without electricity, the GRENGINE could take them from candlelight to electricity. And small GRENGINEs can be charged with a simple hand crank or bicycle flywheel.
GGI is on a mission to take its technology around the world, bringing affordable, portable power to people living and working anywhere.
Intelligent Wellhead Systems (IWS) provides proprietary surface control systems for a variety of markets including unconventional shale, subsea intervention, critical well intervention, and offshore operations.
In 2011, Brad Martin and Mitch Carlson, started IWS after learning of the risks maintaining active wells under pressure. IWS protects its customers well-control incidents while increasing operational efficiency. IWS developed a magnetic imaging collar that significantly improves safety during well maintenance and repair. The collar is installed in the Blowout Preventer stack allowing operators to see tools in the hole during well intervention work. It reduces the likelihood an operator will shear off equipment while in the hole. It also reduces the likelihood that equipment will be pulled past the stuffing box thereby creating a blowout situation.
IWS received more than $800,000 in support through Alberta Innovates’ Voucher, Product Demonstration, and R&D Associate programs.
Jambo is a cloud-based stakeholder relationship management software platform used by organizations worldwide. Jambo provides tools for task management, automate communication channels, issues, and commitments.
Launched in 2016, Jambo helps organizations manage their stakeholder engagement and consultation projects by helping teams collaborate in real-time to track, report and stay on top of their stakeholder information. Companies can quickly and easily log stakeholder communications, issues, commitments, tasks, and contact details.
The company name Jambo (jam-bo!) is a Swahili greeting similar in meaning to the English word “Hello.” The name was chosen because all consultation starts with “Hello.”
All information in Jambo is stored securely in the cloud in real-time, so users always know they’re viewing the most up-to-date stakeholder information.
Specializing in oil and gas maintenance and construction, KUDO Energy Resources is also helping industry minimize downtime, optimize operational maintenance, and protect people with a safety lock they’ve developed. Every year, one person in the U.S. is killed and dozens more are injured worldwide while conducting pumpjack maintenance. The Atabec Pumpjack Lock Out Tool comes with mounting hardware built specifically for the customer’s pump, then mated to a common locking assembly. It’s safer because it engages/disengages from outside the danger area, so no one has to enter the swing area. The Atabec also has a lower environmental footprint because you don’t need heavy equipment to perform maintenance/inspections. It fits with KUDO’s mission to provide quality products and services, safely and efficiently.
KUDO Energy provides training on how to lockout the pumpjack in a variety of positions based on the task required in a matter of minutes, saving customers time and money.
Phase Sensors develops custom micro-sensors for industrial monitoring in hostile, high-temperature and high-pressure environments.
Products include downhole oil well pressure sensors; sensors for refinery heat exchangers; water monitoring sensors for cooling towers; and sensors for monitoring equipment on large marine vessels pressure sensor that can be used in geothermal well monitoring, tsunami detection, and oil well characterization.
Founder Chris Holt says Alberta Innovates has been supporting the company in various ways since inception. “Alberta Innovates sponsored my PhD research through both a personal nanotechnology scholarship, and by funding my PhD project with a nanoWorks grant. This funding allowed me to work with an amazing team and have significant resources to work on very exciting sensor development projects.”
In 2020, Phase Sensors had already exceeding targets in their business plan. The goal is to continue to grow towards 20 employees and $20 million in revenue in three years.
As concerns over the damaging effects of climate change continue to grow, industries are seeing greater regulations and more pressure to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. For Alberta’s oil & gas industry, that includes monitoring their equipment and facilities for C02 or methane leaks. Qube provides real-time emissions monitoring to identify leaks as soon as they happen and help companies reduce emissions. Their AI-driven monitoring rigs alert operators to issues as soon as they happen. The monitors are designed to be largely self-sufficient and designed for remote worksites: they take less than an hour to install and are solar-powered. They also upload the data they collected to the cloud, making it possible to access remotely in an instant. If a leak does happen, Qube’s AI-driven devices can quickly infer exactly where it happened, leading to less damage and quicker repairs.
In 2021, the Qube’s equipment became the first to receive regulatory approval in North America for continuous monitoring of methane emissions.